“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 today’s automobiles.”
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.
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.
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 to 5 years old will increase by 32 percent over the next five years while vehicles in the 6- to 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.
This is good because this means that these vehicles will need body work as accidents still rise to record highs. It’s comforting that vehicles are better made and lasting longer as it’s comforting that this means they will need your services. Of course none of this is good news if there is any loss of life. Still, get the education and equipment needed to strengthen your aluminum skills and body shops, take advantage of this opportunity to set yourselves up for what you know is inevitable.