Blog: Dave LeggettDelaying vehicle replacement

Dave Leggett | 10 November 2003

I'm not sure I completely buy the argument that improving quality is behind European consumers' decision to hang on to vehicles for longer than they used to. It's an interesting viewpoint and I think there may be something valid in comparing the position now with, say, twenty years ago. But in looking at why sales are down this year over last, I think that is much more to do with economic trends, the replacement cycle and consumer confidence. Are vehicle replacement cycles lengthening? If the answer is yes, then that is something that will become apparent over a long period of time. Technology and product in this industry is continually changing (improving) and consumer expectations move with it. The appetite for the latest and newest is fairly constant over time I would think and the decision to delay replacement is normally influenced by economic factors over the economic cycle. Replacement is delayed during hard times, brought forward in the good and, of course, influenced by things like customer incentives too. I'd very much welcome views on this subject though.


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