American Truck Buyers: Make Mine Steel

Generic silver pickup truck

Americans demand a lot from their trucks, and truck manufacturers depend on steel to deliver on their consumers’ performance, safety, durability, price and fuel efficiency requirements. While truck, car and SUV drivers all appreciate a ride made from steel, Americans in the market for a truck are the most likely to prefer key vehicle components to be made from steel. It makes up a big part of their purchase decision because they know only steel can make their truck the best it can be.

This preference for steel among truck owners and shoppers was one of the key findings from a new national study we commissioned through quantitative research firm Lab42. The researchers looked at what Americans think about the materials in their cars, trucks and SUVs and how much those factor into their decision about what to buy at the dealership.

Truck Drivers Want Steel Trucks

One notable finding is 58 percent of truck buyers think it’s important to have their truck’s frame and structure made from steel. That’s a higher importance rank than commonly-advertised truck attributes such as accessory options and towing capacity.

So why do Americans think steel is more important than how much their truck can tow or what accessories they can get? For one thing, they don’t trust the other options, especially aluminum. An overwhelming majority of surveyed consumers do not believe aluminum is as durable (87 percent), strong (90 percent) or safe (91 percent) as steel.

They also know from experience steel delivers on the things they care most about when it comes to their truck, including price, safety, cabin and payload size, fuel efficiency, body design, performance and durability. All of these factors benefit from steel’s unique combination of strength, formability, weight, sustainability and price.

Great New Steels Mean Great New Trucks

While truck buyers love steel, they especially love what today’s high-tech steels can do for their trucks. This is why manufacturers are increasingly turning to advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) and ultra high-strength steel (UHSS) to make iconic trucks better than ever before.

The unmatched combination of strength, rigidity and formability provided by AHSS and UHSS lets truck designers build tougher, stronger and lighter trucks. These exceptional new steels allow designers to thin cabin pillars, making truck interiors more spacious while minimizing blind spots. They make trucks lighter and stronger at the same time, improving fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance. They also make huge contributions to safety, enabling designs and systems to keep occupants safe in head-on, side-impact and rollover crashes.

Americans love their trucks, and they demand a lot from them. When it comes to strength, safety, performance, durability, economy and sustainability, truck owners trust steel to get the job done.

Own a truck? Tell us in the comments below what’s most important to you.

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