Household vehicle consumption forecasts in the United States, 2000 to 2005

Qiushi Feng

National University of Singapore

Zhenglian Wang

Households and Consumption Forecasting Inc.

Danan Gu and Yi Zeng

Duke University

Introduction

American automakers have been experiencing a continuous downturn in production. The output of passenger cars of the United States has decreased steadily from 5.6 million in 1999 to 2.2 million in 2009, a drop of approximately 60% (OICA website). Moreover, in spite of a fast increase in household vehicle ownership in the 1980s, the trend has significantly slowed in the most recent decades (Hu & Reuscher 2004; Davis & Diegel 2009): the annual growth rate of the average number of vehicles per household was 2.53% in the period 1970–1980, but decreased to 0.48% in the period 1990–2000. Within such a market environment, knowledge of vehicle consumption dynamics should be highly valued for today’s manufacturers, dealers and other stakeholders in this sector. Projections of household-based vehicle consumption are thus of particular importance due to its sheer size in the market; indeed, it has already received extensive attention in market research (e.g. Golob et al. 1997; Dargay & Gately 1999; Bhat & Sen 2005).