SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 28, July 16, 2009

Cars Kept Longer—What Does This Mean for Your Business?

A recent survey of new-vehicle buyers from marketing research firm AutoPacific shows that more people are planning to hold on to their cars and trucks. In an Internet survey completed in April of this year, almost 59% of buyers indicated that they would not be shopping for a new vehicle for four years or more. That’s an increase of almost 13% when compared to AutoPacific’s 2005 survey, when 46% of respondents said that they would hold off on buying a new-vehicle for at least four years.

In addition, the number of people intending to replace their vehicle within the next two years has fallen. In 2008, 10.29% of the respondents said that they would replace their vehicle within one to two years; that number fell to 5.68% in the 2009 survey.

In a press release, AutoPacific President stated: “Rapid replacers don’t seem to be changing their patterns, but people who previously bought a new car every one or two years have significantly scaled back their purchasing, and those who bought every three to four years are now waiting at least an additional year.”

When Will You Acquire Your Next Vehicle?

  2009 2008 2006 2005
6 Months to 1 Year 1.49% 2.54% 2.54% 3.61%
1 to 2 Years 5.68% 10.29% 9.95% 7.82%
2 to 3 Years 11.79% 15.59% 17.16% 16.21%
3 to 4 Years 21.00% 25.34% 27.24% 26.32%
More Than 4 Years 58.97% 44.76% 43.55% 46.04%

 The survey was not conducted in 2007
. The data is based upon results from AutoPacific’s national Vehicle Satisfaction Survey. More than 32,000 respondents provided input into AutoPacific’s research.

While Americans are delaying new-car purchases and keeping their vehicles longer, a recent article in the June issue of SEMA News also shows that the declines in new-vehicle sales have provided a boost in the used–car market. The article, “Used Vehicle Market Could Spell New Opportunity,” highlights the top used vehicles purchased in 2008 and the top specialty-equipment purchases by enthusiasts who bought a vehicle within the past 12 months.

SEMA members also have access to vehicle registration data supplied by Experian Automotive. The registration data details a composite view of vehicles that are currently registered and their locations and is a useful tool to help identify potential opportunities as vehicles are kept longer and new-vehicle sales remain flat.

To request the vehicle registration data, contact Megan McKernan at 909/396-0289, ext. 125.


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