ACT Research: US Used Truck Data Messy in the Details

Preliminary used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) increased 43% month-over-month, but were 15% lower compared to August of 2021, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research.

“The used truck market is a market in transition, very similar to what we are seeing not only in the broader economy, but also in the new truck market. Different segments are performing in varying manners and that is manifesting in our world, too.” -Steve Tam, Vice PresidentOther data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for August 2022, which showed that average retail price fell 4%, average miles flattened, and average age contracted 3% from July’s readings. Compared to August of 2021, the average retail price was 30% higher, with average miles and age both greater by 3%.

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, “The used truck market is a market in transition, very similar to what we are seeing not only in the broader economy, but also in the new truck market. Different segments are performing in varying manners and that is manifesting in our world, too.” He elaborated, “Digging into the details, flat miles and younger trucks would normally suggest improved pricing, but as freight continues to soften and spot rates fall, not as many buyers are looking for trucks. Even though stocks are doing the used truck ‘no step’ dance, the imbalance is sending values lower.”

Tam further expanded upon the used truck “no step” dance, “A combination of the Texas two-step and the expression two steps forward and one step back, the phrase is meant to convey the complete and utter lack of progress the industry has observed in bolstering its anemic inventory. Though it remains one of the most elusive metrics in the industry, what data anecdotes we are able to garner suggests that there are no more used trucks in inventory today than there were six months ago.” He concluded, “On one hand, that helps protect sellers from holding over-valued units. But ultimately, it has also limited income potential and denied buyers’ demand.”

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 68th Seminar is scheduled for February 21-23, 2022. Look for more details on this event over the coming months and save the date for February’s event. When details are available, they may be found at www.actresearch.net.

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