How long will prices of used full-size pickups stay strong?
The segment has held up well so far this year. In July, for example, prices of used large pickups slipped just 1.6 percent, according to NADA Used Car Guides, the smallest decline of any segment.
Demand has been robust because of the booming energy sector and steady improvements in the construction and service sectors of the economy. Meanwhile, supplies have been tight, a direct result of the sharp contraction of full-size pickup production during the recession.
Full-size pickup output collapsed to a low of 1.3 million vehicles in 2009 from 2.5 million in 2007, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Output stayed below 2 million in 2008-11.
But production has climbed steadily since the 2009 low and could reach 2.5 million again this year. That's as redesigned pickups make used ones seem less attractive. The Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota Tundra and Ram full-size pickups were redesigned recently. Next-generation versions of the Ford F series and Nissan Titan are due soon.
That has Ricky Beggs, editorial director at Black Book, rethinking his long-standing bullishness on the price-retention power of used pickups -- not immediately, but "two to three years from now."
At the very least, he says, "That pattern of [price] retention is not going to continue that way forever."