Edmunds is predicting that new car sales for the first half of 2019 will be 2.5 percent lower than last year, and a new report on the average age of cars in the U.S. sheds light on one factor that could be behind it.
According to HIS Market, the average age of the vehicles still on the road hit a record 11.8 years in 2018, up from 10.3 years in 2009.
“Better technology and overall vehicle quality improvements continue to be key drivers of the rising average vehicle age over time,” Mark Seng, director, global automotive aftermarket practice at IHS Markit, wrote in a release on the report.
The study also found that there are 278 million vehicles currently registered across the country and where they are has a lot to do with their age. The oldest ones live in the western part of the U.S., where the average is 12.4 years, while vehicles in the Northeast tend to be newer at 10.9 years. Montana had the single state high mark for longevity at 16.6 years.
IHS Markit said it expects the number of cars in the 6 to 11-year-old segment to explode by 27 percent by 2023, which bodes well for the repair and aftermarket parts industries.