ACT Research: June Used Class 8 Sales Volumes and Average Miles Fell Sequentially, While Average Price Rose and Age Was Flat

According to the latest release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks, published by ACT Research, used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) were 1% lower month-over-month. Longer term, volumes were down 5% y/y, but up 20% ytd. Average prices were 5% higher compared to May and 51% more expensive than in June of 2020, while average miles were 5% lower m/m and y/y. Average age was unchanged from May, but down 3% compared to June of 2020.

The report from ACT 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.

“Used Class 8 same dealer sales continued to face challenges in June, though they nearly reached parity with May, slipping just 1%,” said Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research. He continued, “Sales typically increase about nine percentage points from May to June, so they moved counter to expectations, sometimes a precursor signaling impending change. Additionally, anecdotes suggest used truck inventory continued to contract in June, increasing pressure on both sales and pricing.”

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Looking at the different sales channels for used Class 8 vehicles, Tam commented, “Channel results remained mixed in June, with the auction segment declining in all three time periods. Conversely, the retail markets showed improvement for all comparisons. Wholesale transactions improved in the short term, but were weaker longer term.”

He concluded, “Discussions we have had with dealers during the past month have centered on price and availability. Circumstances are forcing dealers and buyers to pay not only way more than normal for trucks, but way more than they want to pay. While we do not know when the market will turn, we note that underlying fundamentals suggest that the market transition will be more orderly, absent the popping of any bubbles like in some previous cycles.”

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.

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