Lang Aftermarket iReport: Odometers drive the aftermarket

“The accumulated mileage on vehicle odometers across the country keeps climbing as the average age of cars and light trucks continues to increase. At mid-year 2019, the typical light vehicle in the U.S. averaged approximately 19,000 more odometer miles than 10 years earlier (2009).”

“This is important for aftermarket product growth since older vehicles with greater accumulated mileage consume more aftermarket products per-mile driven than cars and light trucks with lower odometer readings.”

— Jim Lang, publisher, Lang Aftermarket iReport

Odometer Miles & Aftermarket Product Use

Not all light vehicle travel generates the same aftermarket product volume per mile. Aftermarket product use per mile varies significantly depending on a vehicle’s age and, therefore, its accumulated mileage.

For example, a vehicle with 145,000 miles on its odometer will generate more aftermarket product use per mile than a vehicle with half as many miles on its odometer.

All Light Vehicles

The average light vehicle in the U.S. at mid-year 2009 had approximately 121,000 miles on its odometer. The accumulated mileage of the average light vehicle increased to approximately 135,000 by 2014, with odometer readings climbing to an estimated 140,000 miles for the average light vehicle by 2019.

Cars & Light Trucks

The average car in the U.S. had approximately 18,000 more miles on its odometer during 2019 than it did 10 years earlier: 147,000 miles versus 129,000 miles.

The change in light truck accumulated miles was greater, climbing from an estimated 118,000 miles in 2009 to 139,000 miles during 2019, an average gain of 21,000 miles.

The difference in accumulated miles between foreign and domestic nameplate vehicles is even greater.

Domestic Nameplate Accumulated Mileage

Domestic cars and light trucks averaged higher accumulated mileage between 2009 and 2019 than their foreign nameplate counterparts.

The accumulated mileage on the average domestic nameplate increased to 143,000 miles during 2014, up from 135,000 five years earlier. By 2019, the average domestic nameplate had rolled up 148,000 miles on its odometer.

Domestic nameplates averaged much higher accumulated miles per vehicle than foreign nameplates in the U.S. during each of these three years.

Foreign Nameplate Odometers

Foreign nameplates averaged approximately 23,000 fewer odometer miles per vehicle during 2009 than domestic counterparts: 112,000 miles versus 135,000 miles.

These mileage differences continued during 2014, with foreign nameplates averaging 120,000 odometer miles compared to a much higher 143,000 odometer reading for the average domestic nameplate.

By 2019, foreign nameplates averaged 126,000 miles on their odometers compared to a much higher 148,000 accumulated miles for the average domestic light vehicle in the U.S.

Domestic Cars Average the Highest Odometer Readings

Domestic cars have averaged the highest odometer readings of any major group of light vehicles in the U.S.

During 2009, domestic cars averaged 141,000 odometer miles, much higher than the 121,000 miles for the average light vehicle. Domestic nameplate cars averaged 149,000 odometer miles during 2014, much greater than the average accumulated miles of all light vehicles in the U.S. that year.

Domestic cars pushed their average odometer miles to 157,000 by 2019, more than 28,000 miles greater than the average foreign nameplate car and significantly higher than the 140,000 average accumulated miles of all light vehicles during 2019.

Six Major Takeaways

  • Accumulated miles on cars and light trucks are critical to the aftermarket product use since older vehicles, with high odometer readings, generate more aftermarket products per mile than vehicles with fewer odometer miles.
  • The typical car and light truck in the U.S. in 2009 had approximately 121,000 accumulated miles, with the average light vehicle’s odometer reaching 140,000 miles by 2019.
  • Domestic nameplates averaged significantly more accumulated miles between 2009 and 2019 than foreign nameplate cars and light trucks.
  • From approximately 135,000 miles on the average domestic nameplate’s odometer in 2009, domestic nameplates climbed to an average of 148,000 miles by 2019.
  • Foreign nameplate cars and light trucks have accumulated significantly less mileage than domestic nameplates. Foreign nameplates averaged 126,000 odometer miles in 2019 compared to a much higher 148,000 accumulated miles for the average domestic nameplate vehicle.
  • Domestic nameplate cars averaged the highest odometer reading of any major light vehicle group, topping 157,000 accumulated miles at mid-year 2019.

Copyright 2019 by Lang Marketing Resources, Inc.

NOTESpecial thanks to publisher Jim Lang for granting us permission to publish the Lang Aftermarket iReport.