Average Age of Vehicles on the Road Remains Steady at 11.4 years, According
to IHS Automotive
U.S. Vehicles in Operation (VIO) Hits Record Levels at More than 252 Million;
Scrappage Rate Declines Significantly
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- June 9, 2014
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
“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
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. since 2004-2005.
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.
About IHS (www.ihs.com)
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.
IHS is a registered trademark of IHS Inc. All other company and product names
may be trademarks of their respective owners. © 2014 IHS Inc. All rights
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IHS Media Relations, +1 303-305-8021
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