DIAMOND BAR, Calif. — Tire dealerships and auto service shops will be seeing an increase in the number of CUVs and pickup trucks in their bays over the next few years, but passenger cars will still be around for the foreseeable future.
That's the conclusion of new Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) research on the U.S. vehicle parc.
Light trucks are expected to account for more than 82% of new consumer vehicle sales by 2028, up from 69% in 2018, according to SEMA, driven primarily by the popularity and growth of CUVs.
According to SEMA's new study, "2021 Vehicle Landscape Report," CUVs are expected to make up about half of all new light vehicles sold by 2028.
There are about 281 million light vehicles on the road in the U.S., with CUVs becoming more popular over the last decade.
"CUVs are the fastest growing light vehicle segment on the road today," SEMA Market Research Manager Kyle Cheng said during an April 8 webinar. But SUVs and pickups remain popular.
Full-size pickups are the most common, driven by the popularity of the Ford F-series and General Motors full-size trucks.
CUV popularity is driven by entry-level models because they are more affordable and attainable for consumers looking to enter the light truck market, he said.
"Even amid this growth of light trucks and shift in preferences, it's important to remember that passenger cars remain a significant presence on the roads and for our industry. There are just over 115 million on the road right now and they will remain a significant share of vehicles on the road for years to come," Mr. Cheng said.
A majority of vehicles today are newer vehicles, with 90% of vehicles on the road being model year 2000 and newer; 57% are model year 2011 and newer.
"Each year millions of vehicles come into operation and millions come out. Typically, the landscape grows about 2 million to 5 million cars each year, and on any given year we see about 40 million to 50 million vehicles change hands in used car transactions," Mr. Cheng said.
"Oftentimes these transactions can be a catalyst for someone looking to accessorize. A lot of accessorizers we found in our previous research tend to make their first upgrade on their vehicle within the first few months of purchasing their vehicle, whether new or used."