U.S. registrations of Class 3-8 used commercial vehicles declined 26.7% in the first quarter this year to 164,024 units compared to the same period in 2011, according to new report from market data firm Polk. When merged together with the 129,755 new registrations of Class 3-8 units, total commercial vehicle transactions during the first quarter of 2012 were down 10% from the same quarter last year.
“Our analysis does not indicate a lack of confidence in the used commercial truck market, but it does indicate that the continued growth experienced since the 2008 calendar year will in all likelihood not continue during the 2012 calendar year,” noted Gary Meteer, Polk’s account director for commercial vehicle solutions.
"While used vehicle registrations remain strong, the long awaited decline in used commercial vehicle registrations as seen in the past two quarters may indicate that a shortage of good, clean available units could finally be upon us," he added – illustrating a tightness in supply that’s been expected for some time.
Polk’s data also indicated that used commercial vehicles represented 55.9% of total commercial vehicle transactions in the market during the first quarter this year, down from 70% during the first quarter of 2011. Used registrations for each gross vehicle weight (GVW) category fell as well, with declines ranging from 46.4% for Class 7 trucks to an 18.6% drop for Class 3 vehicles.