SCHAUMBURG, Ill. The number of pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles on American roads remained relatively constant, despite a year of surging gas prices and increased public focus on smaller and hybrid vehicles. Pickup trucks accounted for 20.57 percent of all vehicles in operation and SUVs 11.42 percent, according to analysis by Experian Automotive. The data can be found in Experian Automotive’s AutoCount Vehicles in Operation database.
“As fuel prices rose throughout the summer, conventional wisdom predicted sharp declines in the SUV and pickup truck markets,” said Scott Waldron, president of Experian Automotive. “Yes, sales of new vehicles in these categories have dropped, but when you look at the total vehicle population of new and used vehicles, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles have remained consistently strong as a leading category of vehicles on the road.”
For companies influenced by the number and types of vehicles on the road, like those providing aftermarket parts and service, it is important to have a thorough understanding of what vehicles are in operation, says Experian. For example, by knowing that SUV and pickup numbers are continuing to stay strong, aftermarket organizations and other businesses can plan accordingly in terms of the products they produce for these vehicles.
Waldron noted that there are several regional differences in vehicle class along with other areas of a vehicle’s makeup that are particularly important for businesses that produce products and services for specific vehicles. When looking at the top 10 states in terms of vehicle population as of June 30, Experian Automotive found some interesting statistics within each state:
Texas has the highest proportion of 8-, 10- and 12-cylinder vehicles (29.37 percent), while New York has the lowest proportion of these vehicles (15.93 percent)
More than one in four vehicles (26.91 percent) in Texas are pickup trucks
Texas has the highest proportion of rear-wheel drive vehicles (36.86 percent), while Pennsylvania has the lowest (9.51 percent)
Pennsylvania has the highest proportion of four-wheel drive vehicles (33.54 percent), while Florida has the lowest (10.30 percent)
California has the lowest proportion of Flex Fuel vehicles (1.26 percent), while Michigan has the highest proportion (3.84 percent)
“There are significant differences across the United States in vehicle type, engine type, drive wheels and body styles, with noticeable variations from one state to the next,” said Mark French, newly appointed national aftermarket sales manager for Experian Automotive. “Understanding the regional differences in the vehicles that are currently on the road is a critical component of success in the aftermarket by helping those businesses make smarter decisions on how and where they provide their services and parts.”
Experian Automotive’s AutoCount Vehicles in Operation database consists of nearly 250 million light vehicles. Information is updated within six weeks of the end of each quarter, ensuring aftermarket organizations have the most timely and comprehensive information available to help better manage inventory levels, efficiently plan for new vehicle introductions, adjust for technology changes, and better assess locations for retail stores and service bays.