January 19, 2012
Average Age Of Car At Record High
According to the Polk research firm, the average age of U.S. cars and trucks on the road is up to 10.8 years.
The new record number is as of July 1, 2011 and is up from 10.6 years in 2010. The firm said the average age of the vehicle was 8.4 years in 1995.
According to the firm, the average age of a car in the U.S. last year was 11.1 years, while the average truck was 10.4 years old.
Polk Vice President Mark Seng says a rebound in sales last year and expected growth the next couple of years is likely to slow the trend down.
"It's going to take the good economy several years of very high sales again, and people being willing to let go of those older vehicles that they've been holding onto," Seng said in a statement.
Auto sales started surfacing out of the recession last year at 12.8 million, up from 11.6 million in 2010. The industry hit a record 30-year low of 10.4 million in 2009.
The research firm reports that that auto sales in 2012 will hit around 13.7 million, then rising by about 1 million per year through 2015.
Seng said that even a 1 million-per-year sales increase would have little impact on the average vehicle age.
The Center for Automotive Research predicts that the auto industry will add 167,000 jobs by 2015, which is a 28 percent increase over current levels.
Government estimates show Americans spent about $40 billion more on new cars and trucks in 2011 than in 2009.
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