Auto Service World
News   February 21, 2019   by Allan Janssen

Sales data over the past 10 years show dramatic changes to U.S. fleet

A new report from Lang Marketing shows just how much light vehicle sales have changed in the U.S. over the last 10 years.

Lang iReport 19008-1, released today, points out the substantial changes in total annual volume, domestic and foreign nameplate mix, and the relative strength of light trucks and passenger cars in the new sales mix.

2018 closed with some 17.24 million units sold in the U.S., marking the fourth consecutive year in which light vehicle sales topped 17 million units. In 2008, just 13.2 million new vehicles left dealer lots.

The report describes the last four years as “an unprecedented stretch of record-breaking car and light truck annual sales.” But the news is not all good for domestic carmakers.

While sales shot up more than by more than 4 million units, the share of domestic vehicles (as opposed to foreign nameplates) went from 48% to 45%, while the share of cars (as opposed to light trucks) wen from 51% to 32%.

“Light trucks have continued to expand their new vehicle market share during 2018, generating approximately 90% of total aftermarket product growth since 2008,” the report states.

In the short term, the recent sales boom is not good news for the aftermarket.

“Record new vehicle sales over the past four years have boosted the number of vehicles under six years old, the primary vehicle age group on which dealers focus their service activities,” the Lang iReport states. But down the road, soaring annual new vehicle sales and the changing mix of new vehicles will be positive factors the aftermarket.

The outlook for 2019 is not as rosy as recent years. Several organizations, including, are predicting sub-17 million sales, at between 16.8 million and 16.9 million units.

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