New vehicle registrations top 17 million for first time since 2006

Schaumburg, Ill., Dec. 14, 2015Experian Automotive today announced that new vehicle registration volumes for light-duty vehicles reached the highest point in the past nine years. During the rolling year from Nov. 1, 2014, through Oct. 31, 2015, there were more than 17 million new vehicles registered within the United States — a metric that hasn’t been achieved since 2006.

The highest number of new registration volumes on record was 17.4 million* in 2006, and the lowest point was during the Great Recession, when volumes hit 10.2 million in 2009.**

“It’s encouraging to see new registrations return to prerecession levels, with lower interest and higher employment rates driving vehicle demand,” said Brad Smith, Experian’s director of automotive market statistics. “While I’m sure the auto industry would like to continue this growth annually, it is important to continually monitor data trends and economic indicators to identify shifts in demand and adjust business strategies accordingly.”

Further insight from the data showed that, while there is now a near-identical volume of vehicles registered, consumer buying habits have changed over the past nine years. For example, crossover utility vehicles account for nearly 24 percent of the market in 2015, up more than 100 percent from 2006.

Segment Market share in 2006 Market share in 2015
Crossover utility vehicle 11.9 percent 23.9 percent
Midrange car 26.5 percent 22.0 percent
Pickup 17.5 percent 14.2 percent
Small car 11.1 percent 13.3 percent
Sport utility vehicle 13.3 percent 11.5 percent
Upscale car 6.5 percent 5.4 percent
Van  8.1 percent 5.1 percent
Sports car 3.5 percent 3.0 percent
Alternative power car 0.7 percent 1.7 percent

“The crossover utility vehicle segment, with popular entries like the Ford Escape, the Honda CR-V, the Chevrolet Equinox and the Toyota RAV4, provides consumers with a nice balance between utilitarian need and fuel economy,” continued Smith. “All-wheel drive versions and roof racks provide the recreational sportsman with the fit and function needed for weekend getaways, while the rear hatch makes these vehicles a viable grocery-getter as well.”

The data also showed that Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Honda and Nissan held the top five spots in market share in 2015, making up 54 percent of the 17 million new vehicle registrations. Additional insights include:

Roslyn Whitehurst
Experian Public Relations
1 714 830 5578
Twitter: @RozWhitehurst

About Experian Automotive
Experian Automotive provides information services and market intelligence that enables results-driven professionals to gain the fullest possible understanding of the market, the vehicles and the people who buy them. Its North American Vehicle DatabaseSM houses data on nearly 700 million vehicles and, when combined with Experian’s credit, consumer and business information, provides an integrated perspective into the automotive marketplace. Experian Automotive’s AutoCheck® vehicle history reports provide dealers and consumers with in-depth information, allowing them to confidently understand, compare and select the right vehicles. For more information on Experian Automotive and its suite of services, visit our Website at

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*Based on a rolling year average from March 1, 2005, through Feb. 28, 2006
**Based on a rolling year average from Dec.1, 2008, through Nov. 30, 2009