Lang Aftermarket iReport: Foreign nameplates dominate miles driven
“Foreign nameplate cars and light trucks in the U.S. (Imports and Transplants) average greater fuel efficiency than domestic light vehicles. Foreign nameplates also constitute over half of vehicle age groups that average the highest annual mileage.
“Together, these two factors propelled foreign nameplates to a majority of the annual light vehicle mileage on U.S. roads during 2019. This has boosted foreign nameplate aftermarket product volume.”
— Jim Lang, publisher, Lang Aftermarket iReport
High-Mileage Vehicle Age Groups
Vehicle average annual mileage varies greatly by age category.
Cars and light trucks six years and younger are driven “hard” by Americans, averaging substantially more annual miles than the typical light vehicle.
Annual Driving by Vehicle Age (Prior to COVID-19)
Vehicles 3 years and younger average over 14,200 miles per year on U.S. roads, more than 16% more than cars and light trucks 4 to 6 years old, which average 12,200 miles.
Foreign nameplates average 55% of vehicles in both of these high-mileage age categories.
Cars and light trucks in the repair-age sweet-spot (6 to 11 years old) average 10,500 annual miles in the U.S. Last year, foreign nameplates represented 54% of these vehicles with the highest rates of aftermarket product use.
Cars and light trucks 11 to 13 years old average 8,550 miles per year, while annual mileage drops to under 7,000 among vehicles 14 to 18 years old.
Majority of High Mileage Vehicles
A majority of new light vehicle sales in the U.S. through the early 2000s have been foreign nameplates, topping 53% of total light vehicle sales each year since 2008.
As a result, foreign nameplates now comprise a majority of vehicle age groups with the greatest annual mileage and highest rates of aftermarket product use across a wide range of products.
Foreign Versus Domestic
Foreign nameplate cars and light trucks average greater fuel efficiency than domestic vehicles. In addition, cars generally provide more fuel economy than light trucks.
Foreign nameplates have captured over 70% of new car sales over the past 10 years. When Americans buy a car rather than a light truck, they shift mileage to foreign nameplates.
Mileage Majority in 2019
Foreign nameplates attained 51% of 2019 light vehicle mileage, surpassing domestic nameplates in miles on U.S. roads.
Domestic nameplate mileage share will continue to decline, with Lang Marketing projecting that foreign nameplate cars and light trucks will generate approximately 54% of light vehicle miles on U.S. roads by 2022.
Foreign Aftermarket Growth
As foreign nameplates generate a majority of light vehicle mileage in the U.S., this (in conjunction with their lion’s share of new vehicle sales) will ensure the continued growth of foreign nameplate aftermarket product volume in the coming years.
Greater foreign nameplate mileage share during the 2020 coronavirus shutdown will create a further increase in foreign nameplate share of the reduced mileage during this year.
Next Five Years
The majority of miles generated by foreign nameplates along with their preponderance of vehicles in the repair-age sweet-spot will combine to supercharge foreign nameplate car and light truck aftermarket product growth over the next five years.
Six Major Takeaways
- Foreign nameplate light vehicles in the U.S. average greater fuel efficiency than domestic models.
- Light vehicles 6 years and younger generally are driven more miles by Americans than older vehicles, and fuel-efficient vehicles average higher annual use than cars and light trucks with less fuel economy. Foreign nameplates hold a majority of both groups of vehicles.
- When Americans buy a car (rather than a light truck) they shift mileage to foreign nameplates, which have captured over 70% new car sales in the U.S. over the past 10 years.
- Lang Marketing projects that foreign nameplates will generate approximately 54% of light vehicle 2022 miles on U.S. roads.
- The growing share of miles driven by foreign nameplates along with their majority of vehicles in the repair-age sweet-spot will combine to supercharge the rate of foreign nameplate product growth in the years ahead.
- See Lang Marketing’s 2021 Aftermarket Annual for complete analysis of the rapid growth of the foreign nameplate aftermarket in the U.S.
Copyright 2020 by Lang Marketing Resources, Inc.
NOTE: Special thanks to publisher Jim Lang for granting us permission to publish the Lang Aftermarket iReport.