America Shuns Non-Crew Cabs Like Never Before

Once upon a time, crew cab pickups were for logging crews in the Pacific Northwest, not families. That’s obviously changed. Whereas the typical pickup configuration was a regular cab, long-bed setup (efficient!), times change, and with it the take rates of various truck configurations.

In the eventful 2020 model year, it seems the buying public has never had less use for once-common body styles. It’s four doors, or get lost.

According to data posted by JATO Dynamics, the 2020 model year — thus far —  has seen the take rate of regular and extended cab trucks sink to new lows. In the U.S., crew cab pickups made up 83.1 percent of 2020MY pickups sold through May of this year. That’s up from 77.8 percent for the 2019 model year, and a significant jump from the 69 percent seen back in the hazy, long-forgotten year of 2016.

In Canada, a full 88.9 percent of 2020 pickup rolling stock has been crew cab in nature, once again showing that, despite their tireless environmental smugness, Canadians like their trucks a lot. Last year’s take was just 80.5 percent, and 2016 shows crew cabs eating up 79 percent of the market. A big gain for 2020, clearly.

Regular cabs, which barely make up more than a drop in the overall bucket, have been relegated almost entirely to fleets, with few rugged individualists chalking up some sales in the retail market. You’re most likely to see a white, regular cab F-150 XL bearing the logo of some sort of landscaping company on its doors.

Full disclosure: I dig the vehicle seen above.

For the current model year, regular cab pickups made up only 3 percent of the U.S. mix, down from 6.6 percent in 2016. Extended cabs account for 14 percent of sales in the U.S., down from 18.7 percent in 2019 and 24.4 percent in 2016.

In Canada, extended cabs make up 9.6 percent of the market, meaning that true two-door, backseat-lacking models account for just 1.5 percent of all pickup sales. That’s half that of the United States.

While it’s true that production timing and model changes can account for some of 2020’s decline in sales of unconventional truck bodystyles (General Motors saved its new-generation regular cabs until last, with the Chevrolet Silverado HD regular cab only going on sale last month; Nissan ditched unpopular configurations for 2020, including the Titan and Titan HD regular cab), the public’s growing preference for crew cabs is clear.

a version of this article first appeared on TTAC

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