This post is part of the special series Vehicle Sales 1976-2010.
To tie this all together, I think that we can expect a strong medium-term recovery in domestic automotive demand. I define demand as the demand for replacement vehicles plus the new demand from additional drivers. Using the Census projections we can expect about 268,722,000 individuals aged 16 and over in 2020. Using the previously observed 88% rate of licensed drivers, this would mean 236,475,360 drivers, or an increase of 24,404,194 drivers over the next 10 years. Keeping the number of vehicles per driver constant at ~1.2 this would mean an additional 29,285,033 vehicles in the national fleet. Additional to that would be the demand for new vehicles from retired vehicles. Like I mentioned before, It's hard to precisely estimate the lifespan of a vehicle, but using a hypothetical ten year lifespan and approximately 240 million vehicles (excluding buses and motorcycles) in 2009, that would translate to roughly a full turn around in the fleet, giving us a total domestic demand for automobiles of ~270 million cars and trucks over the next decade. Considering yearly sales averaged ~17.3M vehicles for the six years prior to the recession, this would be quite a strong recovery.