Lang Aftermarket iReport: Foreign nameplates dominate heavy driving years
“Today, foreign nameplates represent the majority of light vehicles up to eight years old on U.S. roads, age groups that average the highest annual mileage. Thirteen years ago, domestic nameplates were dominant, with a 56% share of vehicles in these heavy-driving age categories.
“This shift from domestic to foreign nameplates in high-mileage vehicle age groups has important consequences for aftermarket product use during 2021 and underscores the growing aftermarket domination of foreign nameplates.”
— Jim Lang, publisher, Lang Aftermarket iReport
High Mileage Vehicle Age Groups
Light vehicles in the U.S. record the most annual miles during their first eight years in operation.
Annual mileage is highest in a vehicle’s first year of use, an average of nearly 15,000 miles, it slips to 14,200 miles during the second year and 13,500 miles by its third year on the road.
Vehicles four to five years old average 12,500 miles per year, and drop to an average of just over 11,000 miles during each of the next three years. Vehicles up to eight years old average over 40% more annual miles than older light vehicles.
These mileage estimates are based on vehicle use prior to the onslaught of Covid-19 during 2020.
Covid-19 Mileage Impact
Annual miles in the U.S. last year declined more than 13%, with this reduction generally distributed evenly among vehicle age groups.
However, the 20% plunge in new vehicle 2020 sales pushed some mileage to older vehicle age groups compared what would have occurred had new vehicles sales not fallen so sharply.
Shifting Nameplate Sales Mix
Foreign nameplates have averaged 55% of new car and light truck sales in the U.S. since 2012. This surge in the sales share of foreign nameplates occurred at a time when the new vehicle market averaged more than 17 million in annual sales over a five-year span, an unprecedented performance.
This added to the total annual miles recorded by foreign nameplates during this period.
Cars and light trucks up to eight years old during 2008 represented a significantly different domestic and foreign nameplate mix from that of the same light vehicle age groups in 2021.
Domestic nameplate cars and light trucks captured nearly two-thirds of light vehicle 2000 sales in the U.S. and continued to record a majority of new vehicle volume through 2007.
During 2008, domestic nameplates held a dominate share of cars and light trucks in vehicle age groups with the highest mileage.
2021 Versus 2008
The domestic nameplate share of vehicles with the highest annual mileage in the U.S. differs significantly in 2021 compared to 2008.
Domestic nameplates held a 57% share of vehicles up to eight years old during 2008, while foreign nameplates were far behind at 43%.
The situation has changed dramatically in 2021, as the domestic nameplate share has slipped from 57% to 45% among vehicles up to eight years old.
At the same time, foreign nameplates rapidly expanded their share of vehicles with the highest annual mileage, climbing from 43% during 2008 to an estimated 55% share in 2021.
Mileage Surge by Foreign Nameplates
During 2021, foreign nameplate cars and light trucks up to eight years old will be driven over 40% more miles on U.S. roads than during 2008.
The situation will be significantly different for domestic nameplates up to eight years old, as they will slip approximately 30% in total miles during 2021 compared to 2008.
This rapid increase in the foreign nameplate population of high-mileage age groups means that their wear-and-tear of replacement parts is accumulating at an increasing rate, which will lead to rapid foreign nameplate product growth in the coming years.
The opposite is true for domestic nameplates, which represent a diminishing share of vehicles recording the highest annual mileage.
Six Major Takeaways
- There are significant differences in the annual miles travelled by light vehicles according to their age, with cars and light trucks recording the greatest annual mileage during their first eight years of operation. They average up to 40% more miles per year than older light vehicles in the U.S.
- Since 2012, foreign nameplates have topped 55% of new car and light truck sales, making them a large majority of the high-mileage vehicles in operation. See the all-new 2021 Lang Aftermarket Annual for a complete analysis of the shifting age mix of domestic and foreign nameplates on U.S. roads.
- In 2021, light vehicles up to eight years old represent a significantly different mix of domestic and foreign nameplates than in 2008, with foreign nameplates now holding 55% share of vehicles up to eight years old.
- Foreign nameplate cars and light trucks that are up to eight years old will be driven over 40% more miles during 2021 than they were in 2008.
- The situation will be much different for domestic nameplates up to eight years old, as they will decline approximately 30% in total miles during 2021 compared to 2008.
- This rapid growth of foreign nameplates in high-mileage age groups means that the wear-and-tear of replacement parts is accumulating on foreign nameplates at an increasing rate, a circumstance that will boost their aftermarket volume and share in the years ahead.
Copyright 2021 by Lang Marketing Resources, Inc.
NOTE: Special thanks to publisher Jim Lang for granting us permission to publish the Lang Aftermarket iReport.