Vehicle average age hits record high - Transmission Digest

Vehicle average age hits record high

The average age of cars and light trucks in the U.S. has risen again this year to a new record of 12.5 years, according to the latest analysis from S&P Global Mobility.

The growth is in line with the firm’s prediction from last year that constrained new vehicle sales would continue to impact and put upward pressure on the average age. In addition, the continued rise of light trucks/utilities means the number of passenger cars on the road will fall beneath 100 million for the first time since 1978.

This is the sixth straight year of increase in the average vehicle age of the U.S. fleet, according to S&P Global Mobility. It also reflects the highest yearly increase since the 2008-2009 recession, which caused acceleration in average age beyond its traditional rate due to the sharp decline in new vehicle sales demand. 

In 2022, the average age experienced upward pressure initially due to supply constraints that caused low levels of new vehicle inventory, and then by slowing demand as interest rates and inflation reduced consumer demand in the second half of the year. The combined effect caused retail and fleet sales of new light vehicles in the US to drop 8% from 2021’s 14.6 million units to 13.9 million units in 2022, the lowest level recorded in over a decade, S&P Global Mobility says.

“We expected the confluence of factors impacting the fleet coming out of 2021 would provide further upward pressure on average vehicle age. But the pressure was amplified in the back half of 2022 as interest rates and inflation began to take their toll,” said Todd Campau, associate director of aftermarket solutions for S&P Global Mobility.

New vehicle sales are projected to surpass 14.5 million units in 2023, according to S&P Global Mobility forecasts, which is expected to curb the rate of average age growth in the coming year.

“While pressure will remain on average age in 2023, we expect the curve to begin to flatten this year as we look toward returning to historical norms for new vehicle sales in 2024,” Campau said. 

Favorable business pipeline for the aftermarket

The increased pace of growth of the average light vehicle age benefits the vehicle service industry. An older fleet means vehicles will continue to need repair work and service to perform correctly.

The aftermarket sector trajectory typically follows growth in average vehicle age, as consumers invest more to keep their aging vehicles running, barring some exceptions, according to S&P Global Mobility. As a result, the most recent S&P Global Channel Forecast conducted jointly with Auto Care Association and MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers, estimates revenues of the U.S. light-duty aftermarket in 2022 have grown to $356.5 billion, up more than 8.5% over 2021, For this year, early indications from the same forecast estimate a potential revenue increase in 2023 of 5% or more, prior to adjustments for inflation and other factors. The newest Channel Forecast is set to be published in June.

S&P Global Mobility predicts that the volumes of vehicles ages 6-14 will grow by another 10 million units by 2028, adding to an already favorable volume of vehicles in the aftermarket target range. 

“Traditionally, the ‘sweet spot’ for aftermarket repair was considered 6-11 years of age, but with average age at 12.5 years, the sweet spot for aftermarket repair is growing,” Campau said. “There are almost 122 million vehicles in operation over 12 years old.”

Originally reported by AftermarketNews.

You May Also Like

Superior’s Jimmy Arledge passes

White recalled that Arledge’s first invention was the AXOD/AXOD-E/AX4S Lube in 1996.

Superiors-Arledge

James “Jimmy” Arledge passed away on June 6th. He was 79 yrs. old. He joined Superior in 1995, as a technical hotline and R&D specialist working at Superior Transmission Parts, Inc. for almost 3 decades while he invented and developed many of the kits and fixes the company markets.

BendPak invests in new global headquarters

BendPak has purchased a new global headquarters in Agoura Hills, Calif. The 22,256-square-foot administrative building, built in 2012 for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, is situated on 12 acres in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, just west of Los Angeles. BendPak expects to move from its current Santa Paula, Calif., offices by the end of

BendPak-New-Headquarters
Transtar launches new AC ad campaign with Vanilla Ice

Transtar has launched a new ad campaign that features musician Vanilla Ice, the “Ice Ice Baby” hitmaker, promoting its vehicle air conditioning (AC) product line. The Transtar AC product line is the organization’s first entry into non-transmission or driveline parts. Related Articles – Autel introduces alignment and ADAS lifts – BendPak introduces new double-wide parking

Transtar-AC-campaign
AAPEX announces Joe’s Garage training schedule

AAPEX has announced the schedule for its technical and business-management training courses in Joe’s Garage, an entire floor of The Venetian Expo dedicated to meeting the needs of today’s service and repair professionals. AAPEX will take place Tuesday, Oct. 31, through Thursday, Nov. 2, in Las Vegas.  Related Articles – 2023 State of the Powertrain Industry

Joes-Garage
ETE Reman, Gauge Capital announce investment partnership agreement

ETE Reman has announced a new partnership agreement with Gauge Capital, a middle‐market private equity firm based in Southlake, Texas, to recapitalize the company. Related Articles – Announcing the winners of the Top 20 Products and Tools contest – MEMA Reman Roadshow to take place in March – Jasper adds new members to leadership team

Other Posts

The transmission repair industry: Globally integrated

I recently read an article reported on the Global Newswire that finds the world’s transmission repair aftermarket is continuing to grow. In that article, the authors found that what was about $188 million global industry was expected to approach $235 million by 2028. There are certainly differences among the various nations in the units in

global-list-1400
Can the U.S. electric grid power Electrify America?

As the world becomes increasingly conscious about the environment, electric vehicles are becoming more popular. Related Articles – How seriously should shops take the EV wave? – Report: U.S. EV investments rapidly increasing – Report: Inflation Reduction Act sparks surge in EV investment In 2022, more than 750,000 new all-electric cars were registered in the

Electrify-America-2
Transmission shops are preparing to work on hybrids and EVs

At the beginning of the year, TD polled the industry on a variety of questions related to the transmission work they do. You can see the full results in our State of the Industry report from March. Usually, we ask the same general set of questions each yet in order to get a sense of

electric car generic
EPA proposes new emissions standards to spur transition to electric vehicles

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new federal emissions standards intended to dramatically increase sales of electric vehicles (EVs). The sales would be achieved by reducing multi-pollutant emissions, including greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria pollutants (particulate matter (PM), ozone, nitrogen oxides (NOX) and carbon monoxide (CO) from new light-duty and medium-duty (8,501 to

electric car generic