ACT Research: US Used Truck Sales Cycle at the Beginning of the End

Preliminary used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) fell 10% month-over-month, and were 40% lower compared to May 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.

Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for May 2022, which showed that average retail price and average age both were virtually unchanged, at -1% and +1%, respectively, while average miles were 2% lower m/m. Compared to May of 2021, the average retail price was 66% higher, with average miles and age greater by 4% and 7%, respectively.

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.

“Unfortunately, long-awaited reports of loosening inventories come at exactly the wrong time in the cycle. At the same time, this is part of the phenomenon that defines an inflection point of the cycle.” - Steve TamAccording to Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research, “Unfortunately, long-awaited reports of loosening inventories come at exactly the wrong time in the cycle. At the same time, this is part of the phenomenon that defines an inflection point of the cycle.” He elaborated, “Freight growth is slowing, soon to begin shrinking. Yet, since profitability tends to lag the cycle, truckers continue to make money and invest in equipment, ultimately over-capacitizing the market. As a direct result, the industry is already seeing significant downward pressure on freight rates, which will result in decreased truck demand, and ultimately, lower truck prices.”

Tam continued, “Nevertheless, overall pricing for Class 8 trucks was remarkably resilient in the face of all of the challenges with which it is currently confronted, and needless to say, further, steeper declines are already impacting segments of the market and expected to broaden.” He concluded, “This is the beginning of the end of the cycle, which promises to be every bit as exciting on the way down as it was on the way up.”

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 67th Seminar is scheduled for August 23-25, 2022. The focus will be the potential impact of decarbonization and autonomous technology on commercial vehicles and on-highway transportation. Each event ACT shares its best-in-class data and forecast in presentations, as well as featuring guest speakers to dive into topics of interest for the benefit of attendees. The agenda includes key industry leaders, who will be announced at a later date. For more information about Seminar 67 Watts Under The Hood: Transportation Transformation, click here: https://www.actresearch.net/seminar-67/.

ACT Research recently completed POWER UP, a look at 7 global regions and more than 20 countries in a review of local regulations, infrastructure, and the impact on the adoption of battery and fuel cell electric commercial vehicles through 2040. This forecast is the first of its kind, a review of the decarbonization of commercial vehicles around the world. POWER UP is available now at https://www.actresearch.net/power-up/.

Additionally, ACT Research published an update to CHARGING FORWARD, a North American-centric battery and fuel cell electric vehicle adoption rate forecast, covering 23 vehicle applications, in Classes 4-8 commercial vehicles, through 2040. CHARGING FORWARD is considered by many industry leaders to be the apex of analysis and economic-based total cost of ownership modeling in the industry. And, it is now available for purchase at https://www.actresearch.net/electric-vehicles-charge/.

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