Light trucks are the trucks or truck-based vehicles which have a payload capacity of less than 4,000 pounds or 1,815 kg. These trucks in the U.S. are known as light-duty trucks and in the European countries similar vehicles are popularly known as light commercial vehicle. Federal regulation of the U.S. defines light trucks as any motor vehicle which has a gross weight (curb weight and payload weight) of not more than 8,500.0 pounds or 3,855.5 kg. Light trucks are used for three purposes: for the purposes of transportation of property from one place to another, as a carrier vehicle for transportation of persons from one destination to another and to be used off-street or off-highway operation. Light trucks have lower fuel economy standards compared to cars, so these vehicles are used for utilization purposes rather than personal use purpose.
The light trucks market is bifurcated into light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and light buses and coaches (LBCs) weighing up to 3.5 tons. Light commercial vehicle holds the major market share followed by light buses and coaches segment. The major products under the light trucks market include pick-ups, vans and similar vehicles. In the U.S., sports utility vehicles (SUV’s) are also included within the light truck market. Pick-ups are light motor vehicle with an open-top used for the transportation of goods and people from one destination to another, majorly within the city. Mini pick-ups, compact pick-ups and mid-size pick-ups are some of the well known types of pick-ups used in the market. Van is a kind of vehicle with closed top, used for transporting goods or people. Vans can carry 4 tons weight and is classified as light or medium duty trucks or light commercial vehicle.
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In 2013, North America was the market leader in the global light trucks market accounting for more than half of the total light trucks market. Asia-Pacific followed North America in the sale of light trucks. Asia Pacific region is expected to show highest growth rate in the coming future owing to the developing market in India and China. Light trucks are used in almost all industries. Industrial sector uses it for transportation of raw material and finished goods between their storage facilities and consumers outlets. Government, Industrial and commercial sectors are the major end-user of light trucks. Industrial sector leads the global market followed by government and commercial sector.
Increasing international trade coupled with better storage facilities propel the manufacturing companies to produce and store their product for future trade and fulfill the demand of the customer. This is expected to increase in the coming future and is expected to act as driver for the global light trucks market. Additionally, increasing population is expected to increase the demand for consumer goods which, in turn, is expected to drive the demand for light trucks in the global market. Increasing fuel prices are expected to act as growth inhibitors for the market. However, its impact is expected to be very low. According to Statista (Statistics Company), average prices for crude oil increased from USD 77.38 per barrel in 2010 to USD 105.87 per barrel in 2013.
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Global light truck market is consolidated to the big brands in the market. Some of the major companies operating in the global light truck market are Fiat S.p.A., Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, Tata Motors Limited and Ashok Leyland.