There are more than 120 million passenger cars on American roadways - a record number. Moreover, according to R.L. Polk & Co., the automotive industry's ``scorekeeper,'' those cars are younger on average. The Polk census finds that the 121.5 million cars as of July 1, 1988, had a median age of 6.8 years, down from 6.9 years in the previous annual census.

The number of cars scrapped during the July 1, 1987 to June 30, 1988 period reached 8.8 million, the second highest in history. New car registrations totaled 10.4 million.

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