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Experian: Vehicle Scrappage Rates at
Highest Level Since Cash for Clunkers

March 10, 2011

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Experian Automotive said that the rate of vehicles removed from operation significantly increased from the third to fourth quarter of 2010 for both cars and light trucks.

“The past quarter saw the biggest jump in vehicle scrappage rates since ‘Cash for Clunkers’ in 2009,” said Marty Miller, senior product manager for Experian Automotive. “With the high number of vehicles coming out of operation and the overall number of [vehicles in operation] going down, it is more important than ever for automotive aftermarket organizations to ensure they have the most up-to-date market data available to help them make better inventory decisions, manage the supply chain and drive profitability.”

Findings from the "Q4 2010 Vehicles in Operation" report showed the scrappage rate in the fourth quarter 2010 for cars increased by 28.3 percent, compared with third quarter 2010, while the rate for light trucks in fourth quarter 2010 more than doubled, rising by 58.2 percent over the previous quarter. For all of 2010, the annual scrappage rate was 5.3 percent for cars and 3.5 percent for light trucks.

Other fourth quarter 2010 findings:

• Year end results for the U.S. fourth quarter 2010 VIO data (as of Dec. 31, 2010) show a total of 239,811,984 passenger cars and light trucks currently registered on the road, which is up from last year at the same time (239,061,943), but down from last quarter (240,282,742).

• Light trucks encompass 50.4 percent of vehicles on the road which is up from 50.1 percent at the same period last year.

• The average age of the vehicle market is up 3.3 percent, from 9.6 years in fourth quarter 2009 to 9.9 years in Q4 2010.

• The Detroit Three (GM, Ford, Chrysler) vehicle share stands at 61.3 percent of the total market which is down 1.6 percent from the same period last year (loss of 2.4 million vehicles). By manufacturer, GM is down 1.9 percent, Chrysler is down 1.5 percent and Ford is down 1.4 percent overall from last year at the same period.

In addition to findings from the quarterly report, Experian Automotive also conducted a market trend analysis, highlighting changes that have taken place in the number and types of vehicles on the road during the six month period ranging from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2010.

Results of this analysis show significant changes within VIO, including:

• More than 5.7 million new vehicles were introduced to the market of which 539 new model/series did not exist as of July 1.

• Nearly 17.5 million used vehicles changed owners in the last six months.

• Over 5.7 million vehicles were removed (scrapped) from operation.

• Overall car volumes decreased by nearly 790,000 vehicles while light truck volumes compensated for the loss by adding 800,000 vehicles.

• Import vehicles increased by 1.9 percent over the six-month period, with Hyundai growing the largest at 5.4 percent, followed by Subaru at 4.2 percent.

• Vehicles within the 1983-1992 model year range saw an average decrease in VIO of 8.2 percent in the time period.

Additional fourth quarter data insights and further results of the six- month market analysis will be presented in Experian Automotive’s quarterly webinar slated for mid-April. For more information, visit

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