Pickup trucks were the top 3 selling vehicles in the Twin Cities in 2022
Pickup trucks are the kings of Twin Cities roads, and they’re taking up a lot more space.
- Three of the top selling local vehicles in 2022 were pickups, per data from S&P Global Mobility.
The big picture: As trucks transitioned from gravel-bearing workhorses to family cruisers in the past 40 years, their size and weight have ballooned, according to a new Axios Visuals special project.
- Cabs expanded, beds shrank, and full-size trucks picked up a heftier share of the market.
Why it matters: Pedestrian and road safety advocates say today's massive trucks are a hazard, given their size, weight, and driver blind spots.
- Automakers say new technology like pedestrian detection sensors and automatic emergency braking have made trucks safer.
Axios looked back over the past 50 years to examine the societal and lifestyle changes behind pickups' increasing size.
Driving the news: In the 1980s, about half of pickup trucks were categorized as small or midsize. But by the 2010s, small pickups had nearly vanished as Americans increasingly bought into the big truck lifestyle.
- That's no surprise in Minnesota, as Ford Motor Co. shut down its St. Paul Ranger plant in 2011, discontinuing the compact pickup in the U.S.
- As pickups transitioned from workhorses to lifestyle vehicles, their design shifted accordingly: Cabs expanded to accommodate more passengers, while beds shrank. (Ford brought back a bigger Ranger in 2021, and it has a larger cab.)
Of note: The Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association has stopped publicizing annual vehicle registrations, but as recently as 2018, more than 80% of new vehicle sales were in the light truck category, which includes pickups, SUVs and vans.
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