Preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) increased 8% month-over-month in the final month of 2019, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research, but longer-term, volumes dropped 3% compared to December of 2018. Year-to-date preliminary volumes dropped 14%.
Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for December 2019, which showed that average prices dropped 1%, average miles increased 2%, and average age contracted 2% compared to November 2019.
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.
According to Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research, “As we begin reporting on used truck activity for the last month of 2019, we also start to look ahead to what 2020 is likely to bring.” He continued, “While the new year will probably not be a mirror image of last year, we believe pricing will improve in the second half of the year, but remind those in the industry that ‘improve’ means ‘become less negative’.” Tam explained that for this to happen, excess, idle and underutilized trucks will need to be put back to work.
Commenting on individual market channel volumes, Tam noted, “The retail and wholesale markets both showed short-term improvements, up 5% and 36%, respectively, while the auction market fell 28% m/m. Longer term, the retail market rose 2% y/y, but the auction and wholesale markets both reported declines, falling 26% and 8% y/y, respectively. All three were down year-to-date.”
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.
ACT’s 62nd seminar is scheduled for February 11-13, 2020, and will feature trucker, electrification, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of electrification on the market in the near future. A commercial vehicle database workshop is also being planned in conjunction with this semi-annual event.
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