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ACT: Used-truck sales down, but prices rise and surprise

Nov. 17, 2022
Preliminary numbers for October from the trucking-industry equipment data aggregator defy expectations on Class 8 prices but maintain the recent downward trend in sales, showing that availability of new commercial vehicles might be starting to improve.

Preliminary data on used-truck activity for October held some surprises, according to ACT Research, which reported that Class 8 sales continued their recent retreat by falling 10% for the month but that average price defied expectations by ticking up 1%.

Used Class 8 retail volumes, or same-dealer sales, decreased 10% month-over-month and were 30% lower compared to last October, according to the latest preliminary release of ACT’s State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks.

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Other data showed that average retail price ticked up 1%, average miles declined 1%, and average age increased 3% from ACT's readings for September. Compared to October 2021, the average retail price was 14% higher, with average miles and age both greater by 1% and 2%, respectively, ACT said. Final ACT data for September saw used Class 8 retail sales drop 12% compared to August.

“Drama in the used-truck market increased in October, as the average retail sales price moved counter to expectations, ticking up a scant 1% m/m,” said Steve Tam, VP at ACT Research. “While a welcome change from the monotonous drumbeat of persistent decline, nothing fundamental that would recalibrate expectations has changed.”

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Forces in new-truck production usually affect the used-truck market. Related to new-truck builds, Tam concluded: “Tracking the flow of new-truck assembly can be informative with regard to the supply of used-truck inventory. As the OEMs have continued to make incremental progress on overcoming supply-chain constraints, marginal improvements in output have logically followed. Looking ahead, other forces will step in and offset those improvements.”

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), according to ACT.

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