Americans are wising up. They are not buying replacement new cars. They are buying used cars.
I have done that ever since the 1970s.
The average age of American cars is 10.8 years. This is the highest since 1995, when it was about 8.4 years. Year by year, the average increases.
I still drive a 1993 Dodge minivan. Not too often, though. It was my car for hauling my dogs around. One died, and the other is too old to go on walks. I keep the car as a back-up, in case my car or my wife’s must go into the shop. It hasn’t happened yet.
The number of cars under warranty is now the lowest it’s been in the last 12 to 15 years, he said, and drivers whose cars aren’t under warranty tend not to go to the dealer.
It is obvious that the weak economy has changed drivers’ habits. They drive less. But car repairs and auto parts are booming.
A decrease in annual miles driven, tied to the struggling economy, has somewhat offset increased demand for car parts, said Mike Odell, chief executive of the Pep Boys (PBY) parts and service chain.
It will not be easy for the auto industry to change these habits. People are learning the truth: they don’t need a new car. The longer the weak economy lasts, the harder it will be to persuade buyers to spend $20,000+ on a new car.