The reduction of the United States vehicle fleet, reported in Aftermarket Business (http://bit.ly/axUkHp) based on a study released in January by the Earth Policy Institute (EPI) may be compared to the shrinking experienced by Japan.
Since 1990, Japan has seen a reduction of 21% in its car fleet. Japan’s demographic patterns differ notably from the U.S. -a falling birth rate, very little immigration, plus an aging and overall reduction of its population. In Japan, one in four women is over 65.
Could the same thing happen here? Probably not. The United States is entirely different – it has one of the highest population growths of industrialized countries (1.3% anually). The older generation represents just 12% of the total population.
True, a social trend has made car purchasing not a priority among the young, as more and more live in urban environments. The main culprit -the recession monster has taken a chunk out of the U.S. car industry.