The average age of automobiles in circulation in the country went up to 9.7 years
The recovery of the vehicle market after 2017, after a four-year drop in the crisis period, was still not able to revert the aging process of the Brazilian fleet. The average age of automobiles in circulation in the country went up to 9.7 years, the oldest average age in the last 18 years. In the case of trucks, the average went up to 11.4 years, the highest since 2007.
This aging trend will continue for the next two years, and the average automobile age will reach 10 years in 2020, and the average truck age will reach 11.11 years, according to projections made by the National Automotive Vehicle Parts Industry Union (Sindipeças).
A study to be released by the entity shows that 2018 was the third consecutive year of an increase in the average age of the Brazilian automobile fleet, after nearly a decade of renovation boosted by the boom of sales of new models until 2012. A similar movement happened with trucks, which traditionally have a longer lifespan and, therefore, have a bigger average age.
Manufactured 46 years ago, the Mercedes-Benz Mb 2013 was purchased three years ago by 22-year-old Lucas Eduardo Mendes, who left the company where he worked in the IT sector to work as a truck driver. He put R$ 10 thousand as a down payment, and the remaining R$ 35 thousand in monthly R$ 1 thousand installments. “I still have nine left to pay,” he says as he repairs the engine of his vehicle at a workshop in Bandeirantes Highway.
With a cargo of cleaning products loaded in Guarulhos to be delivered in Ribeirão Preto, Mendes says he would like to change his truck but, “with the price paid for the freight nowadays, and the expenses he has on tolls and fuel, he can’t afford a newer one.” An autonomous worker, he complains that companies are not hiring vehicles older than 20 years, and that is why he depends on the subcontract of transporting companies who pay half the value they were paid originally by the freight.
Mendes says a new line of credit, cheaper and less bureaucratic, would be needed for him to be able to purchase a newer truck. He says he does not know any details of the proposition made last week by Bolsonaro’s government, to release BNDES credits for the category, but he believes it will not be enough to solve the problem of many truck drivers like himself.
“If there is no help to promote the change of older vehicles, the problem will continue,” says Elias Mufarej, director of Sindipeças. For years, the entity has defended a fleet renewal program, starting with the vehicular inspection to remove from the streets vehicles that have no conditions to be on the streets, especially trucks and buses.
In Murarej’s opinion, “an older fleet brings harmful effects regarding safety, especially in highways, and its consequences are serious.”
Less new cars
In a fleet of 1.98 million trucks in activity in the country, 9 percent have up to three years of use, compared to 21.4 percent in 2014. Models ranging from 11 to 20 years of use were then 29.5 percent of the fleet, and now are 36.5 percent. Those with more than 20 years went from 9 to 10.3 percent. During the same period, sales of new trucks dropped by 45 percent.
In the case of automobiles, out of the 37 million in circulation, 14.7 percent have up to three years, a participation which was previously 25 percent in 2014. Most of them (47.3 percent) have between 4 to 10 years, while 32 percent have between 11 and 20 years, and 6 percent have over 20 years.
Taking into account the whole circulating fleet, including light commercial vehicles and buses, there are 44.8 million vehicles on the streets. Their average age is 9 years and 6 months. According to this projection, this year their average age will rise to 9 years and 8 months, and, in 2020, to 9 years and 10 months.
The Sindipeças study considers an annual mortality rate of 1.5 percent, due to vehicles taken out of circulation because of a total loss in accidents or chop shops. Based on it, companies define the production of parts for the reposition market.
4.7 inhabitants per vehicle
With the reduction of brand new vehicles dropping from 3.76 million in 2013 to 2.56 million last year – 1.17 million less – the number of inhabitants per vehicle in Brazil has been stationed at 4.7 since 2016. Ten years ago, this relation was 6.9 inhabitants per vehicle.
Taking into account the economically active population, that is, that part of the population which is effectively able to purchase a vehicle, the country has 2.4 inhabitants per vehicle, a relation which has been maintained in the last six years. In 2018, there were 3.5 inhabitants per vehicle in these conditions.
In this United States, this relation is 1.2 inhabitant per vehicle. In Germany, it is 1.7 and, in Argentina, 3.2 inhabitants per vehicle. In China, the world’s greatest automobile market, there are around 8 inhabitants per vehicle, while in India this figure rises to more than 40.