LAS VEGAS — Independent vehicle repair shops will be seeing a growing number of import brands, light trucks and CUV/SUVs coming in for service in the coming years, according to IHS Markit's analysis of vehicle registration trends.
During AAPEX, IHS' Mark Seng noted a big shift in purchases of light trucks and CUVs at the expense of compact cars. In 2017, light trucks/CUVs accounted for 65 percent of vehicles in operation (VIO) in the U.S.; this year that share is expected to grow to 70 percent.
Overall new vehicle sales have leveled off since hitting record highs in 2015-16. About 17.2 million new vehicles were sold in 2017 and IHS predicts the total will slip 0.6 percent to 17.1 million in 2018.
About 34 percent of these new vehicles sales were compact and traditional CUVs, he said.
Meanwhile, sales of import brands of vehicles (by OEMs with headquarters outside the U.S.) are expected to continue outpacing the Detroit Three vehicle brands, he said.
In 2018, imports are expected to account for 46 percent of new vehicle sales and by 2023 they are expected to account for nearly half of sales.