We all know that pickup trucks retain the highest value among all vehicles, second only to collectible and classic cars. However, just like exotic cars, the price of entry is also steep.

A recent study by JD Power found that new truck prices rose by 61% over the last 10 years, compared to the average price increase of 28% for all vehicles.

The study shows that brand new full-size pickups carried an average price tag of $44,000, a steep increase from below $27,000 back in 2009. It’s also a far cry from the $32,500 average price tag for all vehicles.

The upmarket trend for pickup trucks, along with strong demand, is crucial for the Big Three. In fact, for both Ford and General Motors, last year’s global sales were mostly driven by pickup trucks like the F-Series and the Silverado, despite accounting for less than 15% of the total sales volume.

The fourth quarter earnings of all three automakers were likewise carried by strong demand for pickups. According to Ford, robust domestic truck sales saved its Q4 earnings despite losses in overseas markets.

Meanwhile, GM’s edge in the truck segment has resulted in an 8% global operating margin, similar to luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes Benz. As for Fiat Chrysler, the Ram and Jeep brands accounted for a heavy share of Q4 revenue, providing FCA with a 6.1% operating margin.

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