Cars: Size Matters in Trump Era

Since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, we've heard about the so-called "Trump Effect" at the border, in the stock market and even in television ratings for cable news and late night comedy shows.  But the Trump Effect is also being seen and felt in the automotive industry.  Case in point:  this week's New York Auto Show, which showcases the latest industry trends, and the theme in the Trump era could be summed up as "Making Bigger and Faster Great Again."

"Pickup trucks are about one out of every five vehicles sold, so about 20 percent market share across the industry," says Sandor Piszar, director of truck marketing for Chevrolet who is at the New York show this week.  "And 70 percent of the heavy-duty trucks now are crew cabs with diesel engines, because people want to have these go-anywhere, do-anything, fully loaded trucks...that's another trend we've seen."

Indeed, pickup sales are picking up steam, along with other larger vehicles like SUVs and crossovers.  Relatively cheap gas prices have contributed to the increased demand, but the election of Trump has certainly given a boost to the industry, as well.  Even before he took office, the auto industry was already anticipating the positive Trump effect, and so far the President hasn't disappointed car makers.  Last month, the President told automakers in Detroit he wants to reduce federal regulations that threaten jobs in the industry, and he has ordered a review of the strict EPA fuel economy standards adopted under the Obama administration.

With some of the government shackles coming off, the industry is free to innovate.  And these new vehicles are coming fully loaded with the latest features.  "Things like 4G LTE wi-fi capability, and phone technologies like collision alert and intelligent cruise control," says Piszar, just to name a handful of the features in demand.  He tells KTRH the industry is simply responding to a public that wants it all.  "They want to be able to have all the capability of a truck, but they don't want to give up anything in terms of refinement or technology."

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