The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic turned the auto industry on its head. Faced with forced dealership lot closures and stay-at-home orders pleading with the majority of the population to stay inside their own homes as much as possible, many major automakers and their dealerships struggled to remain afloat through the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent trends show that F-15 is now a favorite amongst a different group of buyers.

Although they certainly endured many blocks in the road, major automakers have now for the most part adapted to the challenges that COVID-19 created for this industry. Met with fear and uncertainty from customers regarding the safety of buying a car during a pandemic, many dealerships began taking extra steps to sanitize their on-site facilities and minimize face-to-face contact with customers by allowing them to complete much or even all of their car-buying process virtually via services like online financing and home delivery. 

Buying trends among consumers have also shifted in the auto industry as a result of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to placing a much higher value on being able to browse and shop for cars online, many consumers have changed their minds about which type of vehicle they want to drive. 

One particularly interesting trend shows that younger buyers—those who were born in the late 1980s, 1990s, or before and are members of either the Millennial or Gen Z generations—have shifted their focus toward pickup trucks on the mainstream auto market. In fact, drivers who buy pickup trucks are now almost 25% more likely to be members of these younger generations compared to pre-pandemic statistics. Keep reading to explore this shift, the reasons behind it, and what it means for the auto industry as a whole moving forward into the future. 

Why Has Demand for Pickup Trucks Increased Among Young Buyers? 

The fact that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an overall increase in demand for pickup trucks among young buyers is not a particularly intuitive concept. However, there are valid reasons behind this seemingly random shift in the auto industry.

F-150 a fave with young buyers

F-150 a fave with young buyers

One of the major reasons why more young drivers are buying pickup trucks is these drivers’ desire to go road-tripping. Many young drivers who are either working from home, taking classes from home, or have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic are taking advantage of the luxury of not having to be anywhere in person by planning road trips. 

Pickup trucks are some of the best vehicles for taking road trips, as they offer plenty of cargo space and are powerful and reliable enough to travel longer distances without breaking down. They also tend to be some of the safest vehicles on the market, which helps give young drivers greater peace of mind while on the road. 

Which Pickup Trucks are Young Drivers Buying? 

Young drivers are much more likely to choose a pickup truck as their next vehicle now than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Within the pickup truck segment of the auto market, however, there are many different vehicle models. Which models are most popular among young drivers who have chosen to purchase a pickup truck during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

The Ford F-150 pickup truck is one of the most popular pickup trucks on the market. Throughout 2020, more than 750,000 F-150 trucks were sold just in the United States alone. The iconic F-150 has also become one of the most popular pickup trucks among young drivers in 2020. 

It’s really no surprise that the F-150 has become a favorite among young buyers in the auto industry. The Ford F-150 is one of the most powerful, off-road-ready pickup trucks within its vehicle segment. It is a high-performing, reliable pickup truck that is also fairly affordable. 

Plus, the Ford F-150 is relatively fuel-efficient—compared to other pickup trucks within its vehicle class—which is an added bonus for young drivers who are in the market for a pickup truck to take on a road trip. 

Will the F-150 Demand Among Young Drivers Stay High Post-COVID-19? 

After the COVID-19 pandemic finally comes to a close—a day which can’t come soon enough—will young drivers maintain their heightened demand for pickup trucks on the mainstream auto market?

The answer to this question is somewhat unclear, and there are several factors that play into its lack of clarity. For many young drivers, affordability is definitely a roadblock when it comes to buying a pickup truck. In fact, many millennials and Gen Z’er drivers report that they are unlikely to purchase another pickup truck in the future due to finance-related concerns. 

However, members of these younger generations also report very high levels of interest in purchasing an electric pickup truck in the somewhat near future. In fact, more than 40% of millennials and Gen Z’ers report that they plan to buy an electric pickup truck within the next 10 years. 

As such, whether or not a demand for pickup trucks among young drivers remains high depends largely on what the future holds—both in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic and the availability and popularity of the many electric pickup trucks that are set to be released by major automakers throughout the next several model years.