by Michael Sivak.
In this analysis, I compare the age composition of buyers of new light-duty vehicles (cars and light trucks) in 2007 and 2017. The data for 2007 came from IHS Markit and they apply to the buyers during the calendar year, while the data for 2017 were calculated from the information published by Wards Intelligence and they apply to the buyers of the model-year vehicles. (The original source of the latter information was, in part, J.D. Power and Associates.) The results are shown in the table below.
The main findings are as follows:
Middle-aged persons purchased proportionally fewer vehicles in 2017 than in 2007 (down from 29% to 14% for those 35 to 44, and from 24% to 20% for those 45 to 54).
Older persons purchased proportionally more vehicles in 2017 than in 2007 (up from 18% to 25% for those 55 to 64, and from 13% to 27% for those 65 and older).
In 2007, a majority of buyers (53%) were age 35 to 54, while in 2017 a majority (52%) were age 55 and older.
Michael Sivak is the managing director of Sivak Applied Research and the former director of Sustainable Worldwide Transportation at the University of Michigan.