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Average age of passenger vehicles in U.S. increases to 11.8 years

07/10/2019



SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — The average age of light vehicles in operation (VIO) in the U.S. has increased to 11.8 years, according to new IHS Markit research.

Over the last five years, the average age increased by 4%.

This is a slowdown from the 2008-2013 period when the average age increased 12.2%, but is on par with the previous five-year period, 2002-2007, when the average age increased by 3.5%.


“Better technology and overall vehicle quality improvements continue to be key drivers of the rising average vehicle age over time,” Mark Seng, director, global automotive aftermarket practice at IHS Markit, said.

“The 40% drop in new vehicle sales due to the recession created an acceleration in average age like we’ve never seen before. In the last couple of years, however, average age has returned to its more traditional rate of increase.”

Light vehicles in operation in the U.S. have hit a record of more than 278 million, according to IHS analysis, an increase of more than 5.9 million, or 2.2%, since 2018.

This represents one of the highest annual increases the U.S. auto industry has seen since IHS Markit began tracking VIO growth — second only to the 2.3% growth in 2016, the market research firm said.

“The increasing VIO fleet is providing a robust, new business pipeline for the aftermarket,” Mr. Seng said. “A larger fleet means more service and repair opportunities in the future.”
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