We always read about the sales ranking by makes and models, the performance of the latest cars, and the quality surveys around the world. There is a continuous race among the auto makers from China, USA, Europe, Japan, Korea, India, Russia, and more recently from Turkey and Vietnam. However, what’s the situation regarding the average age of the cars they offer?

Based on my own research of 705 models available and 30 OEMs across the globe today, not all the players in the global markets are renewing their cars at the same frequency. The analysis, which excludes the majority of the Chinese auto makers, shows that Tesla is the brand with the second oldest lineup among 27 OEMs analysed.

Car makers with the oldest lineup today - graphic

The methodology

The count of the average age of a car is made by calculating the difference in time between today (early December) and the day when the production car was officially revealed, not introduced. The calculation excludes the facelifts, restylings, and any kind of update, different from the introduction of an all-new generation. The rebadges are also excluded.

For example, the third generation of the Chevrolet Montana, revealed last week, was the youngest car. On the opposite side there is the Lada 4x4, or the original Niva, which was revealed in April 1977 and is still available.

Car makers with the youngest lineup today - graphic

Lada and Tesla, at the bottom of the list

As expected, Lada is the car maker with the oldest range of products. The average age of these Russian cars is 18.9 years. Despite the boost given by its former owner Renault over the last years, Lada has been historically affected by the Russian bureaucracy, the lack of innovation, and its strong dependence on the local market.

But surprisingly, Tesla came second with an average of 7.8 years old for its current four cars available. We must remember that the Tesla Model S was first revealed in March 2009, followed by the Model X in September 2015. Their most recent product is the Model Y, revealed in March 2019, almost 4 years ago.

Car makers with the oldest lineup today more than 20 models - graphic

Tesla is by far the benchmark in the EV world and is set to post sales records by the end of this year. But, as I wrote some months ago (see the June Tesla Model S article here), it is not following the practice of the industry of launching a new generation every 6-8 years. The Model S is quite old, especially when it is compared to the more recent Porsche Taycan, Mercedes EQE, or NIO ET7.

Who’s the youngest?

The Japanese Isuzu, and the Chinese Xpeng and NIO, led this ranking. The first brand posted an average of 2.6 years, as its two only passenger cars, the D-Max and MU-X, were recently renewed. Xpeng was quite close with 4 models, and NIO with 6 models available.

Car makers with the youngest lineup today more than 20 models - graphic

Other OEMs with young lineups include Subaru, Honda, and Hyundai-Kia. Among the Europeans, McLaren and Ferrari led, followed by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Aston Martin. In contrast, Stellantis registered the highest average with 5.5 years.

The author of the article, Felipe Munoz, is an Automotive Industry Specialist at JATO Dynamics.