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2011 Ford F-150- First Drive

    Through the first nine months of 2010, the auto industry is on pace to increase sales by 10 percent versus 2009, and pickup trucks are leading the charge. Bloomberg reports that bedded haulers are up 14 percent on the year, led by increased demand from the farming industry. Farmers have seen their revenues increase by $9 billion over last year, with both prices and demand rising in part because of droughts in Russia and Canada. Farmers are using their new-found dollars to invest in their businesses, and trucks are among the biggest and best tools in the box barn.

    Automakers are beneficiaries of this investment, as truck sales climb and profits soar. Analyst Joe Barker of IHS Automotive claims that automakers can make up to $15,000 on each pickup sold, a figure that holds firmest when incentives are down. And with sales up, incentives have dipped. Edmunds shows that trucks have an average MSRP of $34,235, or about $2,000 higher than in 2009. Supply and demand really does work.

    The biggest recipient of the increased demand for pickups has so far been Ford, which has seen its F-Series pickups jump by 31 percent. Chevy Silverado sales are up 17 percent as well. Even the Toyota Tundra, which has struggled in the U.S. market, is up 21 percent. The Ram appears to be the only truck suffering through the pickup truck boom, with sales down one percent year-over-year.

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