SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (Jan. 20, 2005) — The scrappage rate for passenger cars in 2004 hit its lowest mark since 1948 at 4.8 percent, according to research firm R.L. Polk & Co.
The scrappage rate for light trucks also fell in 2004 to 6 percent from 7.7 percent in 2003, Polk said. Overall, 5.3 percent of vehicles were scrapped in 2004, down slightly from 5.5 percent in 2003. Passenger cars' scrappage rate in 2003 was 5.2 percent.
The median age of passenger cars in 2004 stood at 8.9 years, up from 8.6 in 2003 and 7.7 in 1995. Light trucks' median age was 6.4 years, down from 6.6 years in 2003 and 7.4 years in 1995, the firm noted.
“Since vehicles are lasting longer and new light truck registrations remain around 9 million per year, we will see a noticeable change in the proportion of cars vs. light trucks in the near future,” said Marty Miller, product manager for the Southfield-based automotive and marketing information research firm.
In 2004, Polk added, passenger cars made up 59 percent of vehicles in operation while light trucks accounted for 41 percent. The firm predicts that by 2009 the percentage of cars will drop to 54 percent while light trucks will grow to 46 percent of vehicles in operation.