2009 USA Miles Driven Will Likely Show Growth
The preliminary national data on miles traveled in November is good news for the aftermarket, according to the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). November mileage reported an uptick following a dismal October, when the string of year-over-year positive monthly mileage reports for 2009 ended, according to the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
November data shows an increase of 1.36 per cent versus 2008 mileage levels. Year-to-date travel with one month remaining in 2009 stood at 0.28 per cent, almost guaranteeing a positive year. This is an impressive turnaround – just six months ago, year-to-date mileage was down by more than 1 per cent. Most significant of all, the rolling 12-month total, annual vehicle distance traveled, was up 0.19 per cent. This is the first positive report for the rolling 12-month total since February 2008.
The state-by-state November results included some impressive totals, the AASA said. The Dakotas each posted 8 per cent travel increases versus November 2008, while Nebraska and New Jersey reports indicated increases of more than 4 per cent. Only six states – Florida, Vermont, Oregon, Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada – reported decreases for November, while 33 posted growth of greater than 1 per cent. November 2008 travel was 5.2 per cent lower than November 2007, one of the worst single month declines on record, so the 2009 results, while good, must be understood in context.
The recovery of vehicle mileage in the second half of 2009 has been mild compared to 2008, meaning that a full recovery to travel levels reported in 2006 or 2007 remains far off. Year-to-date 2009 travel, while 0.28% higher than 2008, is 3.38 per cent lower than year-to-date 2007 mileage. 3.3 per cent means over 94 billion fewer miles have been driven through November 2009 as compared to just two years ago. The 282 million fewer miles per day will have an impact on business and demonstrates just how much improvement still needs to occur before travel totals have recovered. (Tire Review)