Expert: Auto Scrappage Largely Depends on Nameplate

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Dec. 4, 2017—Despite a rise in new-car and light-truck sales from 2011-16, light vehicle scrappage rates (vehicles removed from operation) declined, noted industry expert Jim Lang, in a recent edition of The Lang Aftermarket iReport.

The light vehicle population declined in the U.S. between 2008 and 2010, with nearly 3 million fewer light vehicles in operation during 2010 than three years earlier.

That situation began to change in 2011, as new-car and light-truck volume posted annual gains and annual vehicle scrappage rates remained rather moderate.

In 2011, the light vehicle scrappage rate was 4.9 percent. By 2016, when new and light-truck volume reached 6 million more than in 2011, the scrappage rate fell to a record-low 4.3 percent, as 11.4 million cars and light trucks were scrapped in the U.S.

Despite averaging 58 percent of all cars and light trucks in operation from 2011-16, domestic nameplates made up 67 percent of light vehicles scrapped during that timeframe.

Foreign nameplates represented 42 percent of car and light-truck vehicles in operation from 2011-16, but averaged just 33 percent of vehicles scrapped.

Thus, the combination of strong foreign nameplate new vehicle sales and high domestic share of vehicles scrapped in the U.S. has notably changed the domestic and foreign nameplate mix of light vehicles on America’s roadways, Lang observed.

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