Pickup Truck Interest Rises in the Aftermath of Hurricanes

Pickup trucks have seen a surge in consumer interest in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Harvey, according to Jumpstart Automotive Media.

To backup this claim, the company examined shopper interest trends three weeks after the hurricanes made landfall and compared that to the data for the three weeks preceding the storms.

In the three weeks following Hurricane Harvey, midsize pickup trucks saw a 26% increase in consumer interest compared to the three weeks preceding. This means that as affected citizens look to buy new vehicles, a higher percentage of them are looking at mid-size trucks as a replacement vehicle.

The surge wasn’t limited to solely mid-size trucks, however. Heavy duty and 1-Ton Pickup trucks saw an 11% increase in interest while full-size pickup trucks saw a 7% increase.

This, Jumpstart noted, was a positive reversal from the first week following Hurricane Harvey’s landfall, when automotive shopping in Houston declined 21%.

In the affected parts of Florida, sales recovery has been slower. Counter to Texas’ reversal, Florida continues to see declines in automotive shopping recovery in the three weeks following Hurricane Irma’s landfall.

Automotive shopping is down 43% in Ft. Myers-Naples, 28% in Tampa Bay and 25% in Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville. Similar to Texas, however, for those consumers that are searching for vehicles in Florida, interest in pickup trucks is rising.

In Florida, the share of consumers searching for midsize pickup trucks grew 21%.  For heavy duty and 1-Ton pickup trucks interest has grown by 14%, and for full-size pickup trucks that growth is at 3%.  

“Growth in interest for midsize pickup trucks in Houston and Miami (post hurricane) makes sense since these trucks are more compatible with an urban lifestyle, as well as offering the necessary comfort, space, versatility and features today’s shopper looks for,” said Colin Thomas, senior analyst, strategic insights for Jumpstart.

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