The average age of a light vehicle on the road in the United States was 11.4 years at the end of 2013, according to IHS Automotive. IHS expects the average age to remain at 11.4 years through 2015, before rising to 11.7 years by 2019.
IHS said that the slower rate of growth in the average age of a light vehicle -- compared with the past five years – underscores the recovery of auto industry and the surge in new-vehicle sales.
Mark Seng, director of IHS Automotive’s aftermarket solutions and global aftermarket practice leader, remarked that for 2014, there would be a plateau in the average age of vehicles, which should remain over the next few years. He said the expectation was based on a number of factors, like the economy and increasing quality of vehicles.”
According to IHS, the average age of vehicles jumped 5 percent in the 2004-2009 period. On the other hand, the figure in the 2009-2014 period leaped 11 percent. IHS is expecting only a 3-percent jump in the average age of vehicles on the road.
There were also 24-percent more new-vehicle registrations than the number of scrapped vehicles in 2013. Total light vehicles in the road in the year jumped to a new record of 252.7 million. IHS said the figures were based on a study of vehicles in operation on Jan. 1.
IHS expects the volume of vehicles aged five years and below to hike 32 percent in the next five years while those aged 6-11 will drop by 21 percent.
The volume of vehicles 12 years and older is expected to surge by 15 percent in the next five years. Seng remarked that during recession years, people held onto their cars for longer and longer.