Based on a review of over 247 million U.S. car and light truck registrations, Polk has determined that the average age of a light-duty truck on the road today has reached 11.3 years. It’s a trend that Polk expects to continue, and which the firm believes could benefit repair shops.
“These are interesting times for the automotive aftermarket,” said Mark Seng, vice president of Polk’s aftermarket practice. “Customers from independent and chain repair shops should be paying close attention to their business plans and making concerted efforts to retain business among the do-it- for-me audience, while retailers have a unique and growing opportunity with potential consumers wrenching on their own vehicles.”
The increase in trucks’ average age is tracking right in line with passenger cars, the average age of which has reached 11.4 years, Polk said.
During the past five years, a significant decline in new vehicle registrations has contributed to a more than 20% increase in the number of vehicles more than 12 years old still in service, Polk said. Over that same timeframe, the number of 6 – 11 year-old vehicles on the road grew marginally. Over the next five years, however, Polk expects newer vehicles to make a comeback.
Looking out to the year 2018, Polk expects a 41% increase in the number of vehicles on the road are five year old or newer, and expects growth of the 12-plus segment to slow to about 11.6%. However, it predicts that the number of 6 – 11 year-old vehicles will decline by 21.9%.
With this expected rebound in new vehicle registrations, Polk forecasts that there will be 260 million vehicles in operation by 2018.
Polk was recently acquired by research firm HIS.