Around the Industry: Aftermarket Sales Per-Mile Soar

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“Car and light truck 2014 product sales in the U.S. increased at nearly three times the rate of 2014 light vehicle mileage growth,” said Jim Lang, president of Lang Marketing, in a recent Lang Aftermarket iReport. “This is a result of soaring car and light truck aftermarket product use per-mile traveled.”

Factors driving car and light truck aftermarket product growth in the U.S. are changing. Traditionally, light vehicle aftermarket product use was primarily driven by increasing numbers of vehicles in operation, coupled with annual mileage growth.

Light vehicles in the U.S. increased less than 2 million from 2009 through 2014, averaging less than 0.1 percent annual growth. Despite only model 2014 mileage growth by cars and light trucks coupled with an annual light vehicle population increase approximating 1 percent, car and light truck aftermarket product volume posted more than a 3 percent gain for the year. Lang Marketing projects mileage by the average light vehicle in the U.S. declined during 2014. Official 2014 annual mileage data will not be available for several months.

“Light vehicle aftermarket product use per-mile dramatically increased in the U.S. over the past 10 years, supercharged by the aging vehicle population and the changing car and light truck mix on U.S. roads,” Lang said.

Older vehicles generate more aftermarket product use per-mile than younger cars and light trucks.

Light trucks comprise a growing share of light vehicle age groups with high rates of aftermarket product use. This helped boost 2014 aftermarket light vehicle product volume due to above-average per-vehicle annual product use by light trucks.

Light trucks average greater annual product use per-vehicle than cars. With their increasing share of total U.S. light vehicle population, light trucks are an important factor boosting product use per-mile by all light vehicles.

Growing product use per-mile will be the primary factor driving aftermarket product growth over the next several years. Aftermarket product sales will continue to climb at an annual pace exceeding the growth rate of light vehicle mileage as well as the expansion of the U.S. light vehicle population.

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