Are the Most Popular Fuel Economy Cars in the United States Outselling Its Truck Rivals in 2008?

Although the price for gasoline has come down over the past months, the one question that keeps protracted in car buyers mind is the direction of gasoline prices for the coming months and years ahead. Although no one can predict the future prices at the pump, but with the current recession in the works, many doubts that it will be anywhere but up.

Running a check at U.S. Retail Gasoline Prices indicated that from July 2008 until November 2008 the country is currently enjoying the lowest average gasoline prices of $1.93/gallon (regular grade) in November 2008. The second lowest gas price was back in January 2007 at $2.15/gallon. It then rose to $3.22/gallon in May 2007, down to $2.75/gallon in September 2007, up again in March 2008 at $3.30/gallon before reaching its peak of $4.12/gallon in July 2008.

However can we assume that sale of fuel efficient new and used cars are tied to the price of gasoline. You will be surprised by the findings below!

Let’s take a look at the most popular cars and trucks sold in January to April 2008:

TOP 10 MOST POPULAR CARS AND TRUCKS FROM JANUARY 2008 TO APRIL 2008

  1. Ford F-Series
  2. Chevrolet Silverado
  3. Toyota Camry
  4. Honda Accord
  5. Honda Civic
  6. Toyota Corolla/Matrix
  7. Nissan Altima
  8. Chevrolet Impala
  9. Dodge Ram
  10. Ford Focus

From January to April 2008 above, the list contain all the familiar faces but if you look at the list of Top 10 Most Popular Cars and Trucks in May 2008 below, you’ll find a wind of change was forthcoming.

While the prices of gas fluctuate during a period of uncertainty, American drivers are not only using less gas but they are not taking any chances by also changing their vehicle as well. Just take a look at America’s favorite Ford F-Series trucks that have been the top selling brand for the past 2 decades. By May 2008, it has dropped by 5 ranking while the fuel efficient Honda Civic took over the top spot. More importantly you will notice that cars are overtaking trucks as the best selling vehicles during the period in comparison. There is no surprise here as car buyers reacts according to the cost of gas.

TOP 10 MOST POPULAR CARS AND TRUCKS IN MAY 2008

  1. Honda Civic
  2. Toyota Corolla/Matrix
  3. Toyota Camry
  4. Honda Accord
  5. Ford F-Series
  6. Chevrolet Silverado
  7. Nissan Altima
  8. Ford Focus
  9. Chevrolet Cobalt
  10. Chevrolet Impala

Now, let’s tracks the most popular cars and trucks sold in July 2008 when gasoline prices were at its peak during the period in our review.

TOP 10 MOST POPULAR CARS AND TRUCKS IN JULY 2008

  1. Ford F-Series
  2. Toyota Camry
  3. Honda Accord
  4. Toyota Corolla/Matrix
  5. Chevrolet Silverado
  6. Honda Civic
  7. Nissan Altima
  8. Dodge Ram
  9. Honda CR-V
  10. Chevrolet Malibu

Surprisingly, Ford F-Series reclaimed the Top position again! During this period, Ford was facing high F-Series inventory resulting from unexpected drop in their sales from previous months, have geared up additional discount and promotion to ramp up sales. The result for July 2008 clearly showed that Ford has achieved its target amid lower sales. It also indicate that Americans are unfazed by the high gas prices and are not averse to high gas consumption when it comes to choosing their preferred vehicle especially when offered deals that are too good to pass up. The U.S. consumer love affairs with the popular trucks remain strong despite what the statistics says. On top of that, the car segment that have been anticipating higher demand due to high gas price but did not offer much incentive are not seeing any significant changes to their ranking. The result may have dampens demand for such cars instead. As gasoline prices continue to decline from July 2008’s peak, it was not surprising to see that demand for Trucks, continue to rise in tandem albeit lower sales due to the current ongoing credit crunch.

In my own thoughts, the discounts and promotions offered by car dealers for trucks could be large enough an incentive for buyers to offset against the imminent rise of gas. However, with gas prices continuing heading south, and buyers getting the best deals at the dealer, it seems truck buyers have won the bet this time round.

Dump Truck Financing – It’s Easier Than You Think

Financing a dump truck is different from financing a car, pickup truck, or any other vehicle. A dump truck buyer will probably find dump truck financing to be easier to get and more readily available than other types of commercial financing. For the most part, the reason for this is the high value of dump trucks and their high earning potential. Lenders still strictly view finance applications, but they are able to afford more flexibility in dump truck financing for these reasons.

Lenders, in fact, are very aggressive in promoting dump truck financing. Obviously this is because loans for these trucks are profitable to lenders and are reliably serviced and paid by borrowers. This is an interesting distinction from most forms of commercial financing, and even most vehicle financing of any kind, in that vehicle loans can generally be hard to qualify for and secure. Dump truck loans, however, are seemingly more easily obtainable. Financing is available for both new and used dump trucks.

Applicants for any kind of vehicle financing are normally screened as to creditworthiness. An applicant’s credit score will affect vehicle financing availability, as well as the rate and terms. The same is true with dump truck financing, but in fact many lenders feature financing targeted to buyers with bad credit. Credit is still an issue and lenders do qualify buyers in terms of credit, but buyers with bad credit are not excluded from financing. Given the high value of a dump truck and its potential profitability, lenders are able to extend credit to many buyers who might not normally qualify for vehicle financing due to credit.

Lenders also stress the simplicity of applying for financing for these trucks, and looking at lenders’ websites, the process does seem simple. Applications are short, and lenders indicate that credit decisions are often made in one day or less. This is commercial financing, but financial statements are generally not required with an application. Applications seem to focus more on the type of equipment to be financed, and less on the party it is to be financed for. Lenders ask for details on the truck to be financed, such as type of truck, including standard, articulated, or transfer, make, model, and year, along with details on the bed and lift mechanism. Lenders also ask where the vehicle will be operated from, allowing even for the truck to be based at the owner’s home. Borrower details are also collected, including information on the operating company, if any, and details on the individual buyer or buyers. Social security numbers are taken from the individuals, and applications do require a release of credit information from the borrower. The applications are credit applications. Some applications, though, also ask the applicant to merely estimate his or her credit score or Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) score.

The hauling business can be a very profitable business. These types of trucks have the potential to earn very high incomes and create substantial cash flow for an operator. They also command high values, with new ones commonly selling for more than $200,000, and even used trucks three and four years old selling for $50,000 and more. Buyers needing financing will find financing to be available, even in the case of poor or bad credit. Of course, lenders are always strict in granting loan approvals as it is always necessary for a lender to have success in collecting loans. Still, given the unique business characteristics of these types of trucks, financing standards may be more flexible.