A new calculation of the average age of the product range of automotive brands has been carried out. The analysis covers the date of launch of the production version of 330 models currently available in Europe and 315 in the USA. The results are quite interesting and reveal a lot about the strategies of car manufacturers and the speed of their offensives.

The situation in Europe

At the end of March 2024, the average age of cars available in Europe will be 4.9 years. This result is the outcome of an analysis of 49 brands with an average age of between 2.5 years and 9.7 years. Interestingly, it is completely in line with the overall US average of 4.9 years.

Despite significant differences, the US and Europe are two highly developed markets whose consumers demand new cars, unlike developing markets such as Latin America, South East Asia or India.

The European ranking is led by Dacia, whose four models (Sandero, Spring, Jogger and Duster) are on average 2.5 years old. The oldest model is the Sandero, which was launched in September 2020, while the Duster received its third generation in November 2023. Dacia is also one of the fastest growing brands in Europe.

The youngest car brands in Europe and USA - chart graphic

The Romanian brand is followed by Lotus and Polestar. These two brands, which are part of the Chinese Geely Group, have recently unveiled new models clearly aimed at the electric vehicle market. Lotus offers four models (Emeya, Eletre, Emira, Evija), while Polestar has three models in its programme: Polestar 2, 3 and 4.

In fourth place is the Cupra (excluding new editions) with an average of three years. This is the same average as Peugeot, whose product range has been rejuvenated with seven vehicles (excluding vans) following the launch of the 3008, 5008 and 408. Peugeot's young product range contrasts with that of its sister company Fiat, which has an average of 8.7 years after an ageing Fiat Panda (2011) and a Fiat 500 (2007) with a combustion engine. Fiat was only surpassed by one brand: Mitsubishi with an average age of 9.7 years.

Among the premium brands, Mercedes-Benz was ahead with an average age of 3.8 years, followed by Lexus (4.0), BMW (4.0) and Genesis (4.1). Competitor Audi achieved an average value of 5.8 years, which can be attributed to numerous delays in the presentation of new vehicles. Jaguar had the oldest model series.

What is happening in the USA?

In the absence of Dacia in the USA, Lotus is the youngest brand there. It is on average 2.5 years old and offers four models. It is followed by Acura, which has benefited from the introduction of the latest generation MDX, TLX, Integra and ZDX. As Acura is heavily dependent on the American market, the company needs to keep its range as up-to-date as possible. Subaru is in third place with an average age of 3.4 years, as is GMC.

The youngest car brands in Europe and USA - chart graphic

The lowest rated brand is again Mitsubishi, which still sells the first generation ASX (called Outlander Sport) and the aged Mirage/Attrage (launched in November 2011). As part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, the Japanese brand is focussing its efforts on improving its position in South East Asia.

Among the volume manufacturers, Hyundai is in the lead, followed by Toyota and Kia. Genesis, Hyundai's premium brand, ranks second among premium brands, followed by BMW, Lexus and Cadillac.

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