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

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 12% lower month-over-month, but significantly higher year-over-year and year-to-date against easier COVID-impacted comparisons in 2020. Average prices were 2% higher compared to April and 43% more expensive than in May of 2020, while average miles were 6% higher m/m, average age was 1% older m/m, and both dropped 2% compared to May 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 6.30.21“Used Class 8 same dealer sales volumes stayed in negative territory in May. Historically, sales usually slow a few percentage points from April to May, so the 12% decline was bigger than expected,” said Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research. He continued, “Some in the industry are starting to question whether continually rising prices are beginning to test the limits of borrowers, and perhaps even some lenders. Unless transactions are requiring larger down payments and/or higher monthly payments, there is a growing possibility that some buyers may be upside down on their loans when truck prices start to come back down. Regardless, demand remains strong, thanks to underlying freight and driver dynamics.”

Looking at the different sales channels for used Class 8 vehicles, Tam commented, “Channel results were once again mixed, with all three segments in decline in the near term and strongly positive on year-over-year basis. Sequential softness came from the retail market, which also bolstered broader year-over-year and year-to-date gains.”

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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