For the first time since 2003, the General Motors Co. Cadillac Escalade isn’t the vehicle most targeted by car thieves, having lost out to a Ford pickup truck, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.
Ford Motor Co.’s F-250 heavy-duty pickup took the top spot among most-stolen new vehicles in the U.S., according to the institute, which is part of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit organization.
“General Motors has put a lot of effort into new antitheft technology, so that may help explain the decline in the Escalade’s theft rate,” Matt Moore, vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute, said in an e-mailed statement. “On the other hand, sales of the Escalade have fallen in recent years, so there may be less of a market for stolen Escalades or Escalade parts.”
The group bases its theft rankings on the number of insured vehicles of each type on the road. Today’s report looks at vehicles from model years 2010 to 2012. The claim frequency for F-250 crew-cab pickups was seven per 1,000 insured vehicles and an average loss payment per claim of $7,060. The Escalade fell from first to sixth place with a claim frequency of 5 1/2 per 1,000 vehicles.
U.S. auto thefts appear to have risen in 2012 after eight straight years of declines, rising 1.3 percent from 715,373 in 2011, the National Insurance Crime Bureau said last month. The 2012 numbers were based on preliminary data, the bureau said.
GM added steering column locks and sensors that set off an alarm when the Escalade’s angle is changed to prevent the sport-utility vehicles from being stolen by being towed away on flatbed trucks, the institute said.
GM’s Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup, Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 pickup, GMC Sierra 1500 pickup and Ford’s F-350 pickup rounded out the top five of the most popular theft targets among vehicles, based on the insurance claim rates. All of the top 10 were either pickups or SUVs made by Ford or GM.
The vehicles with the lowest theft claim rates were Chrysler Group LLC’s Jeep Compass, Toyota Motor Corp.’s Sienna, Hyundai Motor Co.’s Tucson, Honda Motor Co.’s CR-V and Toyota’s Lexus HS 250 hybrid.