New housing and
pickup sales track each other
Since the year 2000, sales of full-size pickup trucks and new housing construction have virtually mirrored each other, according to figures by Autodata and the U.S. Census Bureau. It makes sense, because contractors are more likely to wait for more construction to start before investing in a new truck. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler say home construction is the biggest driver of light-truck sales. Analysts have concluded that such trucks on average generate between $8,000 and $10,000 in operating profit. By comparison, small and midsize cars can generate just a few hundred dollars. The Detroit Three had a 13 percent increase in truck sales in the first half of 2012. They look forward to more increased sales through the end of the year and in 2013, because of pent-up demand. Recently, the rate of new housing construction rose to its highest level in four years.