Preliminary Class 8 same dealer used truck retail sales volumes surged 14% m/m in August, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research.
Compared to July 2023, average retail price increased 1%, while miles and age both declined 1%. Compared to August of 2022, volumes improved by 6%, while price declined 26%, miles declined 3%, and age declined 4%.
According to Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research, “Historically, August is the second-best sales month of the year, more than 8% above average and 10% better than July.” He continued, “The uncharacteristically large improvement this month is likely a reflection of the increased availability of units at more attractive prices.”
Tam concluded, “In three of the past four months, used Class 8 average retail sale prices have reflected either below normal or typical levels of month-to-month depreciation. Looking ahead to next month, the prices, against which longer-term comparisons will be made, will be considerably lower than they have for the first half of 2023. With destocking on shippers’ inventory at hand, freight is expected to stop contracting and perhaps even return to growth soon. At the same time, the number of trucks servicing the freight market continues to decline. These are the exact ingredients for a rebalancing of capacity and the subsequent return to a more normal used truck market.”
ACT’s Classes 3-8 Used Truck report provides data on the average selling price, miles, and age based on a sample of industry data. In addition, the report provides the average selling price for top-selling Class 8 models for each of the major truck OEMs – Freightliner (Daimler); Kenworth and Peterbilt (Paccar); International (Navistar); and Volvo and Mack (Volvo). This report is utilized by those throughout the industry, including commercial vehicle dealers to gain a better understanding of the used truck market, especially as it relates to changes in near-term performance.
ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.
According to the August State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks, published by ACT Research, used Class 8 retail sales faltered for the first time in three months in July, declining 7.8% m/m. Average mileage decreased 2%, with average price down 5% and age 1% m/m. Longer term, average volumes jumped 19%, price and age dropped 30% and 3%, respectively, and miles was flat.
“Sales usually dip a percentage point or two in July, so the decrease was in line with but greater than expectations,” said Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research. He continued, “Including auctions and wholesales, the total market volume fell 28% m/m in July. Compared to July 2022, the retail market was 19% larger.”
Since July, some clarity has surfaced regarding two potential market-moving situations: “The UPS Teamsters ratified their contract, avoiding a disruptive strike. Closer to home, the bankruptcy of Yellow appears to be progressing in a disciplined, methodical, and orderly fashion. The company owns more than 14,000 trucks (primarily Class 8 day cabs) and nearly 45,000 trailers.”
Tam concluded, “Were all that equipment dumped into inventory at one time, the result conjures up images of a piranha feeding frenzy. While it is still very early in the process and there are no guarantees, this approach should help to minimize the negative impact on used equipment values.”
Compared to July 2023:
- Average retail volumes increased 14%.
- Retail price increased 1%.
- Miles declined 1%.
- And age declined 1%.
Compared to August of 2022:
- Average retail volumes increased 6%.
- Price declined 26%.
- Miles declined 3%.
- And age declined 4%.
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