Before the economic crisis in late 2008, the average length of new vehicle ownership rose at an average of 3.7% each year. But now, US consumers are holding onto their current vehicles longer and this rate has increased more than 14%, "with no signs of slowing down," according to automotive consultant Polk.
This trend has started in 2008 when new-vehicle sales had dropped coinciding with the financial downturn. On average, consumers are holding onto a new vehicle for 64 months, 4.5 months longer compared to a year ago. Polk mentioned that with more older vehicles on the road, firms that serve the automotive aftermarket stand to benefit.
As a result, used-car prices have increased, putting weight on new car prices.
A report from Polk revealed that during the economic downturn and the auto industry meltdown in the later part of 2008, the average length when it came to new vehicle ownership went up 3.7% on the average per year.
However since the period, this has increased to exceed14% and is expected to continue. Polk solutions consultant Eric Papacek revealed that ownership trends are what its customers continue to monitor.
With data on the trends available, both retail and aftermarket customers will be able to make the necessary plans on amount of service work needed and the parts required based on the ages of the vehicles being driven on the road, Papacek continued.
The average length of ownership based on used models registration was also up 46.1 months compared to 43.8 months for the same period in 2009. Polk added that based on analysis done for the second quarter, used and new vehicles combined had length of ownership averaging at 52.2 months