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Pick Up Trucks: The Symbol Of Today's Middle America

Oct 5, 2007
Middle America geographically refers to the area of land between the east coast states and the west coast states, but the term is more often used as a cultural label rather than a geographical one. It tends to suggest a suburb or small town where most of the residents are middle class (households earning approximately between $19,000 annually - considered lower middle class - and those earning up to about $55,000 per year - upper middle class). The paradigm of "Middle America" often includes a highly Protestant, highly Caucasian concentration of Americans, but both the religious makeup and ethnicity of those groups are evolving to a more diversified composition.

What isn't changing about "Middle America," is its economy. Traditionally, those living in "Middle America" work in some type of agricultural field with the exception of those living in suburban
locals. Housing prices tend to be lower there, home prices tend to appreciate much more slowly, and the people living there tend to be less affected by urban sprawl, traffic, and the other social ills that come with major industrial and residential growth associated with bigger cities.

Politically, "Middle America" tends to encompass the "battleground states," in which no candidate of either party has overwhelming political support. Despite the cliché that Middle America supports "traditional family values" (which tend to learn toward the more conservative political positions), voters there have been known to vote for whichever candidate supports the hot button issues that affect those living in the region, since many of the issues that affect city-dwellers do not affect them.

So what does this mean for pickup trucks? Interestingly, quite a lot. Pickup trucks, such as the extended cab Isuzu i-370 and others like it, are popular vehicles in "Middle America." Their versatility is a key factor; they make hauling farm equipment and supplies easy, able to fit much more in their open beds than could be wedged into an SUV, while also providing an ideal vehicle for family outings most seating up to five or more people comfortably. They fare well in adverse weather conditions as well. Because much of "Middle America" deals with constantly changing seasons, from harsh rains in the summer months to blizzards in winter, pickup trucks can usually press on where smaller vehicles equipped with a lower wheel base, cannot.

Because of their power and versatility, the pickup truck is more than just the preferred vehicle for Middle Americans. Over the years, it has become a symbol of hard work, of perseverance, of longevity. For manufacturers and distributors of pickups, this is a good thing. Sales of pickups don't rise and fall the way they do for other types of vehicles. While trends for city drivers can change dramatically based on which models have the best safety features, which are friendlier to the environment, which are most attractive, pickup trucks appear to be exempt from such peaks and valleys. People who drive pickups continue to drive pickups. They know what they want and pickup trucks meet their needs as well as support their identity and beliefs as a symbol of the working class. Pickups are, in short, as American as baseball and apple pie.
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