Truck sales accelerate

By WEEK Producer

August 1, 2013 Updated Aug 1, 2013 at 10:31 PM CDT

MORTON, Ill. -- Ron Stewart recently bought a new truck and says he wouldn't drive anything else.

"I've always owned a truck. There's always something you need to pick up or deliver or haul," Stewart explained. "Its just a lot more convenient."

And a lot more popular than many people think.

Despite gas prices hovering above 3 1/2 dollars a gallon, trucks sales are up.

Ford F-series truck sales were up 24-percent in June over the same month last year. And Chrysler-Dodge reported a 31-percent increase in sales of their Ram series trucks in July. General Motors also saw a double-digit bump.

Morton car dealer Mike Murphy says the demand has caused Ford to increase its production of trucks.

"Ford was taking a look at where they were at in the marketplace and dealers were telling them we could take more orders, we could make more sales if we just had more production," Murphy said.

Murphy thinks low interest rates have helped fuel the buying spree, while salesman Ken Pierson says its his experience truck sales accelerate as long as gas prices stay under four bucks.

"When gas went over four dollars a gallon truck sales slowed down rather dramatically," Pierson said. "But now that gas is under four dollars a gallon truck sales have again picked up."

And Murphy listed other factors.

"I think people have been able to factor in other things like safety, low interest rates, their monthly payment, no repairs," Murphy said.

In other words, there are several things driving this truck resurgence.