In all likelihood, you have probably spotted a decked-out pickup truck in the parking lot at Walmart and made an assumption about the person who owns it. We won’t go into details about the generalizations or stereotypes, but they do exist at an alarming rate. What may cause you to raise an eyebrow is that the demographics for truck owners have been changing drastically over the years. While you might assume that the majority of truck owners are Baby Boomers, the truth is that Millennials have overtaken both Baby Boomers and Generation Xers in truck ownership. Let that sink in for a bit. The generation that nobody thought even cared about driving is now the biggest consumer of pickup trucks. It makes you wonder if auto manufacturers are actively going after this segment of the population or if they merely stumbled into it. What are the reasons for this turnabout? We don’t know for sure, but we can speculate. And if a Millennial were to compare, say, the 2022 Ram 1500 vs 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500, which would appeal most to them?
How Millennials Impact the Market
There is a lot of surprising data that will have you wondering what happened over the years. For example, not only do Millenials account for the biggest segment of truck buyers, but they are also the biggest market for electric vehicles. Which is a huge surprise considering that there was a time when everybody thought this generation wasn’t at all interested in driving, let alone owning a vehicle.
It’s not a secret that Baby Boomers have long been huge fans of the pickup truck. As such, it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that manufacturers target this segment of the population. However, while it seems logical that Baby Boomers would embrace pickup trucks and Millennials would gravitate towards EVs, it isn’t easy to wrap your head around the fact that the younger generation also prefers trucks.
The Real Reason Why Trucks are So Popular
It wasn’t until the 1980s and 1990s that trucks started to become a popular choice. One of the main reasons for the jump in popularity has to do with how the truck evolved. Trucks became easier to drive, and they became just as luxurious as cars. If you haven’t yet got the memo, modern trucks are luxurious, and they are still capable workhorses.
When you make the choice to buy a truck, you no longer have to sacrifice comfort or technology for power and capability. Perhaps part of the reason why Millenials have overtaken Baby Boomers in truck sales has more to do with keeping up with the times and knowing what is available in the market. That is, there are probably plenty of drivers out there who still believe trucks are difficult to drive and don’t offer the features and luxury of a car.
We don’t give Millennials the credit they deserve. You see, they opt for trucks because they are a better fit for their lifestyle. For example, a truck is a perfect choice if your hobbies include camping, boating, and even off-roading. However, even if you would never take your truck off the paved road, it is still a popular choice. But what we think prompted Millennials to buy so many trucks is that with the numerous trim and special editions, it is easy to own a unique truck that reflects your personality.
Fancy Trims and Special Editions
Almost all auto manufacturers offer up fancy trims and special editions for their trucks. And while fancy trims offer valuable features and components, special editions are often just some added graphics to make your truck look cooler. But sometimes, an auto manufacturer will get it right and offer a special edition well worth the price. For example, the Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Edition is a brilliant example of pairing two American icons all in one package. It’s a far more imaginative pairing than the limited edition Dallas Cowboy F-150 introduced in 1994.
The 2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10 Night Runner Edition is another success story. The engineers at Dodge decided to drop a Viper V10 engine with 503 horsepower under the hood of an all-black pickup truck with a chrome grill standing on 22-inch wheels. The downside is that they only made 400 of these bad boys.
But enough of the past. Say that you are in the market for a 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500, you have several trims from which to choose, and they all have features and components that will surely pique your interest. For example, the Silverado ZR2 is designed for off-road adventures and includes 33-inch mud-terrain tires, a powerful V8 engine, and enough ground clearance to ensure safe passage through the roughest terrain.
If off-roading isn’t your thing, the Silverado 1500 High Country trim is decked out with all of the features you could ever imagine. Slip behind the wheel of this particular model, and you will believe you are driving a luxury BMW. And yes, that is open-pore wood trim that compliments the leather upholstery.
But if there is any truck that has made a name for itself by offering customization options and luxury features, it’s the Ram 1500. Should you be in the market for a 2022 Ram 1500, you have better start doing your homework right away because they have so much to offer. Much like the Chevy Silverado, the Ram 1500 comes in several trim choices as well as several special editions, additions that provide more than just a cool badge.
The Ram 1500 Big Horn is a popular choice because of the extra goodies; you get valuable features, including a RamBox cargo management system, fog lights, and heavy-duty shocks. It’s these features that make the truck more capable, while other features such as an 8-way power driver’s seat and power-adjustable pedals make your ride more comfortable.
Buyers of the 2022 Big Horn can choose the Backcountry Edition to add a few off-road features not found on the regular trim. What makes this so nice is that you are not only getting more usable features, but you also get a beefed-up truck without having to jump to another trim level. For example, the BackCountry Edition includes an off-road suspension system, skid plates, and adjustable bed tie-downs, all valuable features for both recreational and work-related applications.
The 2022 Rebel and Laramie trim levels are available in sporty G/T Editions that pack plenty of performance and convenience. Yes, the G/T Edition does include custom graphics, but there are several other features as well. In addition to aluminum paddle shifters, the G/T package offers a center shifter, bucket seats, a sport performance hood, and a Passive Cold-End Exhaust, which improves performance. Adding so many new packages shows that Ram understands the desire for individuality among modern truck buyers.
Trucks Transcend Generations
Just when you thought that the next generation would prefer to drive anything but a pickup truck, the data shows us a much different picture. Since Millennials are responsible for buying the largest portion of electric vehicles and pickup trucks, it sounds as though they are far more unpredictable than once thought. Let’s face it, Millennials have money, and they are spending that money on vehicles that are taking us to the next level. If you look at the trends, electric vehicles are as popular as ever, and manufacturers are already scrambling to keep up with the demand for electric trucks. It seems as though the electric truck will become the next boom. It also looks like Millennials have done their homework and are taking the lead in what types of vehicles are shaping the future.