We’ll admit it. It was our favorite advertisement of the Super Bowl, that once-a-year orgy of American violence, athleticism, and marketing prowess. Chrysler resurrected the voice of American broadcasting pioneer Paul Harvey, who died in 2009 at the age of 90, and overlaid Harvey’s beautifully written paean to farmers, originally delivered to a convention of the Future Farmers of America, atop a montage of stirring photographs. It was a pitch perfect sales pitch for Chrysler’s Dodge brand of pickups.
And, apparently, exceedingly well timed. Farmer incomes this year are set to hit their highest level since 1973, adjusted for inflation, according to the US Department of Agriculture, as crop production levels bounce back from last year’s drought and livestock and poultry prices climb. The Wall Street Journal rounds up the report and includes a nifty chart:
As you can see, even last year’s hit to production from the drought did little to dent farmer incomes, as lossers were made up for by crop insurance payments and higher prices for the commodities that actually were harvested.
Commercial buyers of pickup trucks skew strongly toward people involved in industries like agriculture and construction, so with farmers flush with cash and US housing continuing to rebound, this all adds up to good news for car companies. Ford spotlighted strong sales of F-series pickups in its recent earnings. Chrysler’s earnings were boosted by solid sales of the Dodge Ram. Expect a similar trend when General Motors reports earnings Thursday.