What's the most popular vehicle for Americans making more than $200,000? Luxury brands such as Porsche, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz might spring to mind; or perhaps a Tesla.
The single most popular vehicle purchased by Americans earning above $200,000 a year is the Ford F-150 pickup truck, according to a new study by the consumer research firm MaritzCX.
Demand has been so strong at the high end that Ford has repeatedly introduced new, ever higher-end models over the last decade, starting with the King Ranch Edition, adding the Platinum and now the F-150 Limited.
"Whenever we add something, buyers tell us they'd like something even more expensive," said Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager Doug Scott.
"The irony is that manufacturers are struggling to find enough content to put in their vehicles to get prices up to $100,000 or more," where they could compete more directly with classic luxury flagships like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan, said George Peterson, head of research firm AutoPacific, Inc.
Mercedes-Benz will have a busy schedule when the Geneva Motor Show stages its annual media preview next week, the automaker is planning to roll out 34 all-new and updated models. But one is likely to stand out more than the others: the Concept X, a thinly disguised version of the all-new pickup truck Mercedes plans to bring to market later this year.
"With the Mercedes-Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio," declared Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and head of its Mercedes-Benz brand, during a Swedish preview of an early version of the Concept X, last autumn.