General Motors delivered Wall Street an unexpected surprise this week, substantially topping Wall Street earnings forecasts for its third quarter, and it wasn't because it's selling more cars.
The Detroit automaker is racing to keep up with demand for its new Chevy Silverado pickup which was completely redesigned for the 2019 model-year. In particular, shoppers appear especially enamored with the new High Country model that can be loaded up with features like heated seats, a heads-up display on the windshield and even active noise cancellation.
Check all the boxes and you're pushing into the $70,000 range — about the same as a fully loaded Mercedes AMG E 43 high-performance luxury sedan.
While trucks have traditionally been the sort of vehicles you'd expect to see on a farm or at a work site, demand has been surging among regular buyers who are opting out of sedans and coupes and replacing their family vehicles with pickups and SUVs. And some of the biggest demand is coming at the high-end of the truck spectrum, with luxury buyers favoring lavishly outfitted pickups like the Silverado High Country.
In fact, that $70,000 for a fully loaded Chevy truck might seem like chump change to fans of the Ford F-Series, long the nation's best-selling pickup line. According to research firm J.D. Power and Associates, $50,000 is the slightly blurry line between mainstream and luxury in today's auto market. And Ford now has a variety of different versions of the light duty F-150 that break that barrier, starting with the King Ranch edition at a base price of $52,390. Last year, the automaker added a new Super Duty Limited version that can nip $97,000 out of the factory, with aftermarket options sold by Ford dealers pushing it into six figures.