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Why Are Pickup Truck Sales Decreasing in India?

News Date 15 May 2021

Why Are Pickup Truck Sales Decreasing in India?
  • Despite being inclined towards the challenging Sport Utility Vehicles, the Indian customers are shy away from buying pickup trucks. 
  • Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger could be interesting pickup trucks in the near future in India. 

The pick-up trucks are the American legends, just like the muscular cars. Pick-up trucks are just a member of American culture. How often have you seen a movie (Hollywood Movie) with no pick-up trucks in it? The answer is tough to find.

The pick-up trucks have their history and a wide range of supporters as well. Majorly, pick-up trucks are trendy in markets like South-East Asia, North America, Australia, and Latin America.

Such is the demand for pick-up trucks now that they have converted an option for family cars. The best selling SUVs in Canada and the US are pick-up trucks. The American trinity - Chevrolet, Dodge, and Ford register the lion's share of the total pick-up truck sales every year. Apart from these brands, some other brands are selling and making pick-up trucks, including Nissan, Mazda, Toyota, Isuzu, etc.

A Simple Recipe

The concept of pick-up trucks is simple—a cabin for passengers and a large cargo area for goods. The pick-up trucks widely used as delivery vehicles and had very few human comforts. But now, the pick-up trucks have a lifestyle selection in different markets globally. 

Some of the broadest selling pick-up trucks have been built with a straightforward recipe. They manufactured with a powerful and large engine, capable of taking the vehicle to places with no road. These more oversized body vehicles come with a solid built, rigid suspension. They can equally perform on asphalt and no-roads as well. The pick-up trucks recognised for their nature and bestiality.

Pickup Trucks in India

Despite being such exciting and well competent vehicles, which are most popular in many regions, they have not got a space in the Indian market rated one of the largest automobile markets globally in terms of sales volume.

The Indian buyers have been keen on compact SUVs, and crossovers like the rest globally show the same bias in recent years.  Seeing the trend, several automobile makers in the country are beginning their SUV offerings, which are getting many takers. The North Indian market is mainly inclined towards challenging vehicles like crossovers and SUVs. But, this region has not explained much interest in pickup trucks.

Alok Verma is the Consulting Partner at Grant Thornton Bharat LLP, talked about the low popularity of the pickups in the Indian market. He said that "Pickup trucks in India do not appear to work as a class as it is likewise of a versatile category appropriate in a setting that centres on outdoor or dwelling as well as a DIY market like the US. India on the opposite hand is more extra of a "GID" or "Get it arranged" market as well as a market where the outdoor or camping market is less advanced."

While the Sport Utility Vehicles are generally visible using the Indian ways, not the pickups. Hardly, a few pickups can be seen practising on the Indian ways, and a majority of them are used as commercial goods vehicles.

In India, Isuzu, Mahindra, Tata, Ashok Leyland and others sell their pickup trucks. Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger have been spied testing on Indian ways, indicating a launch shortly. 

Why are Pickup Trucks Not Popular in India?

There are many reason behind the low popularity of pickup trucks in India, which are:

Judgement Complex: When we are talking about pickups, the customers often experience the judgement complex. Despite the substantial difference in the Indian buyers' mindset, many vehicle buyers buy cars or two-wheelers not only because they like them, but also those are better than the neighbours or costly than their neighbours.

The vehicles often come as aspirational outcomes for many Indian buyers, and pickups do not fit the bill for them. The judgemental habits or prying nature of persons towards the pick-up trucks often follow in the consumers shying away from these carriers, even if they like the pick-up trucks. That's why they always go for a traditional SUV or crossover.

Policy Restrictions: Indian government policies towards pickup trucks are the primary reason behind their low popularity. Registration or other documentation of pickup trucks is not the same as traveller vehicles in India. The traveller vehicles can be driven everywhere in the country once the registration is given, it accepts a white registration plate, and the driver has an LMV licence.

On the other hand, a pickup truck is listed as a commercial vehicle in India, including a yellow registration plate, and the driver requires a commercial vehicle licence. Also, being classified as a commercial vehicle, a pickup owner must obtain a national permit if he or she wants to drive around the states. This is the main reason for being interested in these trucks but not buying them. 

Size Matters: When we talk about cars, the size and look matter. Indian buyers might be engaged in bigger and sturdy cars, but not about pickup vehicles. They find the pickup trucks too rugged and large looking. Manoeuvring a large and powerful pickup truck through the dense town traffic can turn out to be a terrible nightmare for many.

No Value for Money: Many Indian customers don't find the pickups as value for money. Notwithstanding lowered concern about fuel efficiency, when the fuel prices are very high, many buyers shy away from getting the pickup trucks as they come as fuel gobblers because of their large and powerful engines.

Warranty, price, fuel efficiency, design, resale value - these multiple factors affect India's car users' decision. While traditional cars often come fulfilling these standards as per the buyers' choice, the pickup trucks in India don't.

So these are the reasons behind the pickup trucks being not popular in India. We hope that we will be able to make you understand. For more information, stay with us. 

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