Planned Obsolescence Not Helping Vehicle Manufacturers

The average car or light truck in the U.S. is now a record 10.8 years old, says automotive market research firm Polk.

The age of passenger cars increased slightly since 2010, up to 11.1 years at the end of June 2011 from 11 years the year before. Light trucks, including pickups and SUVs, had a larger increase in the same time period, from 10.1 years to 10.4 years. Overall, average vehicle age has seen a fast rise in the past five years, according to Polk’s reports based on national vehicle registration data.

“The increasing age of the vehicle fleet, together with the increasing length of ownership, offers significant business growth opportunity for the automotive aftermarket,” said Polk’s global aftermarket practice leader Mark Seng. “Dealer service departments and independent repair facilities, as well as aftermarket parts suppliers, will see increased business opportunity with customers in need of vehicle service.”

Here’s how top vehicle stocks are reacting to the news:

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): F shares recently traded at $12.06, up $0.02, or 0.17%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $9.05 to $18.88. Volume today was 31,573,917 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 57,376,300 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 7.23, while trailing earnings are $1.67 per share.

General Motors Corporation (NYSE:GM): GM shares recently traded at $24.33, up $0.04, or 0.16%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $19.00 to $38.95. Volume today was 5,659,919 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 12,097,100 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 5.32, while trailing earnings are $4.57 per share.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM): TM shares recently traded at $67.84, down $0.42, or 0.62%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $60.37 to $93.90. Volume today was 357,487 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 501,827 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 40.82, while trailing earnings are $1.66 per share.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC): HMC shares recently traded at $33.32, up $0.27, or 0.82%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $28.04 to $44.56. Volume today was 361,032 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 747,705 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 21.21, while trailing earnings are $1.57 per share.