Preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) dropped 5% month-over-month and 24% y/y in August. Through the first eight months of the year, activity is 8% higher compared to the same period a year ago, 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 August 2021, which showed that average prices rose 7%, as average miles were flat and age rose 5%, compared to July. Compared to August of 2020, average price was 47% higher, with average miles and age each up, 3% and 11%, respectively. On a year-to-date basis, average price is 33% above its year-ago level for the first eight months of 2020, with average miles down 1% and age flat on a year-to-date basis.
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, “Preliminary same dealer sales descended further in August. In a normal market, sales would typically have increased in August, but this market is anything but typical. In the context of what can only be described as a stellar economic recovery, demand for seemingly everything, including commercial vehicles, is off the charts. However, sating that demand is proving to be an insurmountable challenge.”
Regarding used truck prices, Tam added, “As is usually the case when demand is strong and supply is weak, competition heats up and prices become the battleground. Following a brief respite in July, used truck price appreciation returned with a vengeance in August. Many, especially those who feared the market may have peaked in July, are relieved that price growth resumed in August. We hold fast to our outlook that pricing will most likely peak around mid-year 2022, based on current supply and demand dynamics.” About an end to the upward trend of used truck prices, Tam commented, “With considerably fewer options for both new and used equipment, the behavior drives up truck prices. This has the unintended consequence of attracting new operators/trucking companies, sending demand for units even higher, which ultimately means truck prices are likely headed even higher. Eventually, the cycle will balance itself; the key question is when.”
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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