Why Trucks Are The Future Of The Aftermarket Sweet Spot

This article was originally published on AftermarketNews.com

In the US, the average vehicle on the road is almost 12 years old. Light trucks are about 18% older than passenger cars, meaning the average truck is 14-15 years old.

There are several reasons why the average truck is older than the average car. In addition to age, there are several factors that explain why trucks are the biggest opportunity for the aftermarket.

Why Is The Average Truck Older?

Truck

Here are the main reasons the average truck tends to be older than the average car:

  • On average, a new pickup truck costs about $50,000. The average price for passenger cars is about $37,000. To make the most out of their investment, truck owners are more likely to keep and repair their trucks as they age. Car owners are more likely to upgrade to new cars.
  • Utility is big part of the reason people purchase a truck. They buy a truck because they need something that will haul or tow. But the utility provided by a 15 year old truck is not much different than that of a new truck.
  • Because their value is based on utility, trucks hold their value well. That means they are worth repairing. It makes sense to put a transmission in a 15 year old truck; less so on a 15 year old car.
  • Having the latest style doesn’t matter much to many truck owners, and the basic shape of a pickup truck has been the same for decades. So keeping an older truck is a pragmatic decision, as opposed to buying a new car, which tends to be more of an emotional decision.

Why There’s a Huge Aftermarket for Truck Parts

There are several reasons why there is a lot of demand for aftermarket truck parts:

  • Trucks are relatively easy to work on. There is plenty of room in the engine bay and around the suspension and driveline. On many trucks, it’s possible to work on the driveline or other components under the truck without putting it on a lift or even pulling a wheel.
  • The basic design of a truck’s engine, driveline, suspension, and brakes is pretty straight forward. The front engine, rear live axle layout has been around for years, so many people are familiar with truck components and are comfortable performing repairs or maintenance.
  • Owners of older trucks are often in the trades. They have mechanical skills and aren’t intimidated by automotive repairs.

Truck Parts Needed After 100,000 Miles

Cars and trucks usually need the same maintenance parts for the first 100,000 miles of their lives. As a truck puts on more miles though, many truck owners will perform some major repairs. Here’s a quick list of truck parts commonly replaced after 100,000 miles:

  • U-joints
  • Brake calipers
  • Alternator
  • Water pump
  • Fuel pump
  • Power steering pump
  • Fuel injectors
  • Wheel bearings
  • Tie rod ends
  • Ball joints

Thanks to increased age, increased desire of owners to maintain/repair, and parts needed after 100,000 miles, trucks are a huge opportunity for the automotive aftermarket now and in the future.

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