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One-Third Trillion Miles Shifting to Older Vehicles

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This should be good news for our businesses.


Reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: 'From Aftermarket Insight™ by Jim Lang, President of Lang Marketing Resources, Inc., www.langmarketing.com.'


One-Third Trillion Miles Shifting to Older Vehicles

"Plunging new car and light truck sales and the soaring age of vehicles on U.S. roads are changing the distribution of miles driven by vehicle age. With fewer young vehicles in operation (five years and under) and the average age of vehicles climbing at a record pace, older cars and light trucks are being driven more miles in the U.S. as consumers deal with a struggling economy."


"Lang Marketing estimates an average of more than 85 billion miles will shift each year from vehicles five years and under to older cars and light trucks in operation between 2010 and 2013. This has consequences for aftermarket product use by vehicles in older age categories and the vehicle-age 'sweet spot' for replacement parts use."


85 Billion Mile Annual Shift

Between 2010 and 2013, more than 340 billion car and light truck miles will shift from vehicles five years and younger to a much older mix of vehicles.


Vehicles in the U.S. five years and younger are typically driven approximately 40% more miles annually than the average older light vehicle.


With the significant downturn in new car and light truck sales beginning in 2008, the number of vehicles five years and younger on U.S. roads by the end of 2010 will be nearly 17 million units less than it would have been had new sales continued at the annual level recorded from 1999 through 2007. By 2013, the total number of "lost" younger vehicles (five years and under) could top 26 million units.


As a result of this historic reduction in vehicles five years and under, older cars and light trucks are being pressed into "harder" service as total miles by all types of light vehicles inched up over the past few years.


Over 340 Billion Miles Shifting: 2010 - 2013

Lang Marketing estimates over 340 billion miles (one-third trillion) will be transferred from newer vehicles (five years and under) to older cars and light trucks on U.S. roads from 2010 to 2013.


Not All Miles Driven are Equal

This means these 340 billion miles will generate more aftermarket product volume, since this wear-and-tear is accumulating on older vehicles between 2010 and 2013, rather than newer cars and light trucks (five years and younger). Miles on older vehicles result in greater repair and maintenance product use per mile traveled than the same miles driven by newer cars and light trucks.


Record-Setting Accumulated Mileage

Odometer readings of light vehicles in the U.S. (accumulated mileage) are setting new records. As older vehicles are being driven more annual miles than ever before, accumulated mileage on U.S. vehicles is reaching new heights.


This means many aftermarket products are likely to gain an additional replacement cycle because older vehicles are accumulating record-high total mileage.


Vehicle-Age "Sweet Spot" Getting Broader

As a result of more mileage on older vehicles in the U.S., the upper-end of the vehicle-age "sweet spot" for aftermarket product use will migrate to higher vehicle age levels.


A Strong Recipe for More Aftermarket Growth

Over one-third trillion miles shifting from newer to older vehicles on U.S. roads and older vehicles being driven record-setting miles per year mean that aftermarket product use per miles traveled on U.S. roads for cars and light trucks continues to increase. This is a strong recipe for aftermarket product growth through 2013.

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