"In our history of tracking, we have seen a gradual increase in the average age of vehicles on the road"
SOUTHFIELD, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The combined average age of all light vehicles on the road in the U.S.
remained steady at 11.4 years, based on a snapshot of vehicles in
operation taken Jan. 1 of this year, according to IHS Automotive, which
incorporated Polk into its business last year.
Total light vehicles in Operation (VIO) in the U.S. also reached a
record level of more than 252,700,000 -- an increase of more than 3.7
million (1.5 percent) since last year, said the IHS Automotive analysis
from July 2013. In addition, new vehicle registrations outpaced
scrappage by more than 24 percent for the first time in a decade,
according to the analysis.
The average age is in line with the trend shift first seen in 2013, in
which the combined fleet of cars and light trucks on the road is older
than ever. New analysis, however, indicates the average age of light
trucks has increased in the past year to the same age as passenger cars,
both at 11.4 years. This milestone marks the first time this has
happened since 1995, when the data was first reported.
“In our history of tracking, we have seen a gradual increase in the
average age of vehicles on the road,” said Mark Seng, director,
aftermarket solutions and global aftermarket practice leader at IHS
Automotive. “This year, we’re seeing somewhat of a plateau in the
market, and expect it to remain over the next few years, without a major
change in either direction. We attribute this to a number of factors,
including the economy and the increasing quality of today’s automobiles.”
Looking ahead, IHS forecasts that average age of vehicles is likely to
remain at 11.4 years through 2015, then rise to 11.5 years by 2017 and
11.7 years by 2019. This rate of growth is slowing as compared to the
last five years due to the substantial increase in new vehicle sales.
Scrappage Rates Decline amid VIO Growth
The number of vehicles scrapped in 2013 was significantly fewer than in
previous years, with just over 11.5 million vehicles scrapped during the
12-month timeframe analyzed by IHS Automotive. In comparison, a record
high of more than 14 million vehicles were scrapped in 2012. This while
VIO is up 1.5 percent, a rate the auto industry hasn’t seen in the U.S.
Dynamics of Fleet Age and Mix
With the shift in ownership comes shift in the age of vehicles within
segments of the overall fleet, which is important to business planners
in the aftermarket and service industries so they can manage inventories
of parts required and plan for sales and service activity accordingly.
Based on the growth of new vehicle registrations in the past few years
as the U.S. auto industry has rebounded, IHS Automotive forecasts that
the volume of vehicles 0-5 years old will increase by 32 percent over
the next five years while vehicles in the 6-11 year old category will
decline by 21 percent. Because of improved quality and consumers holding
their cars and light trucks longer, vehicles 12-plus years old continue
to grow and will increase by 15 percent by 2019.
The IHS Automotive aftermarket team is working with customers in all
areas of the aftermarket to help them best identify opportunities and
specific planning efforts that may help improve their business.
Likewise, business planning opportunities are under way at the OEMs to
help them identify additional sales opportunities as vehicles are taken
out of service and newer vehicle are coming into the U.S. vehicle fleet.
IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information, insight and
analytics in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape.
Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe
rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and
flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and
develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business
since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock
Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is
committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs more than 8,000
people in 31 countries around the world.