The average price of total used Class 8 trucks in May was virtually flat, dropping just 1% month-over-month. Longer term, prices were up 10% year-to-date and 6% higher compared to May of 2018, according to the latest release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks, published by ACT Research. The report also indicated used Class 8 same dealer sales volumes fell 8% m/m, 22% y/y, and 17% year-to-date compared to the first five months of 2018. On a month-over-month basis, average mileage dropped 1%, while average age was up 5%.
China’s economy is likely to give less support to the heavy and medium truck markets in the short term, despite the government’s efforts to ensure steady economic growth with a ramp-up of tax cuts and infrastructure investment, according to the most recent China Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, jointly published quarterly by ACT and China’s State Information Center (SIC). Additionally, while not impacting each commercial vehicle segment every year, structural changes within China’s CV market are expected to exert downward pressure through 2023. The OUTLOOK includes an overview of the China economy and a review and forecast of China’s heavy and medium duty truck and bus markets, as well as analysis of OEM market shares within China.
In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research noted that the economic picture remains largely unchanged, with growth moderating in 2019 from strong 2018 growth. The economy was already moderating as tailwinds from the end-of-2017 tax cuts diminished, but other caution flags are waving including current trade uncertainties, slowing industrial and auto sectors, tariff-driven inventory building, and an unfolding global economic slowdown. The report provides monthly analysis on transportation trends, equipment markets, and the economy.
According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, Class 8 retail sales and build are starting the summer at near-record high levels, but evidence supporting a change in direction continues to accumulate. At the same time, the medium duty market was a study of contrasts in April, even as new trailer orders fell to a nearly two-year low.
The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index showed nearly across-the-board declines, with capacity being the lone exception. The Pricing Index fell considerably, to 38.8, in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history. from 45.4 in April. The Volume Index dropped further into negative territory, hitting 46.7 (SA), from 49.5 in April. Fleet productivity/utilization slipped to 46.0 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, down from 49.4 in April, and capacity growth increased to 54.6, from April’s 54.3 reading.
According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Report, May’s Class 8 metrics generally aligned with expectations, with the lone exception of cancellations, which continued to surprise on the low side. Additional data for the Class 8 market show still-large (but quickly shrinking) backlogs, weak orders, strong build, bigger inventories, and good follow-through on sales.
Preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) fell 14% month-over-month in May, the second consecutive sequential drop, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research. Additionally, the report indicated that longer-term comparisons yielded a 22% decline compared to May 2018, as well as a year-to-date drop of 16%.
ACT Research released the June installment of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK report covering the truckload, intermodal, LTL and last mile sectors.
Preliminary North America Class 8 net order data show the industry booked 10,800 units in May, dropping 27% from April, but down a more significant 70% from year-ago May. Note that these numbers are preliminary. Complete industry data for May, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-June.