Sales of expensive full-size pickup trucks from the Detroit Three automakers fell in the first quarter of 2024 which, as a Bloomberg report explains, could negatively impact those automakers’ EV plans.

Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis have been cashing in on high-end versions of full-size pickups, piling on features like bigger touchscreens and massaging leather seats to push transaction prices into the six-figure range. It’s these highly profitable models that bankroll EVs, giving automakers the cash to invest in EV development and manufacturing.

But sales of big pickups fell in the first quarter, Bloomberg notes. Sales of Stellantis’ Ram pickups fell 15%, while sales of Ford’s bestselling F-Series trucks fell 10%. Ford also hasn’t shipped any electric F-150 Lightning pickups since February 9 due to an undisclosed issue.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2024 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

High sticker prices haven’t deterred pickup shoppers, but high interest rates, along with increased competition from smaller vehicles like compact SUVs and sedans, might at least at the moment be eroding interest, according to Bloomberg.

Full-size trucks have been the cornerstone of the Detroit automakers’ business plans in recent times. Smaller models like the Ford Maverick, which starts in the $20,000s and include a hybrid version, may be a sensible pick for many households compared to an F-150.

Shoppers might be waiting for innovation beyond new, more luxurious pickup trim levels. GM, for instance, is reportedly at work on plug-in hybrid pickups, and Ram will roll out an extended-range plug-in pickup in the next year. 

More all-electric trucks are also on the way, and the advantages of going electric for pickups could be even more pronounced for these vehicles than for regular passenger cars. In 2022 the Union of Concerned Scientists said electric pickups emitted less CO2 than the average gasoline truck no matter where in the U.S. they were plugged in.

2025 Ram 1500

2025 Ram 1500

And it is possible that some pickup shoppers might be starting to get the message on EVs. Another 2022 study cranked through the numbers, estimating that electric pickups could replace nearly half of gasoline ones currently in service—with an ownership cost advantage.

The Biden administration just made a series of changes in a final fuel economy calculation, making it easier for automakers to produce and sell more large pickups and SUVs. So regulations won’t threaten U.S. automakers’ obsession with big trucks for the time being.

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