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Used Truck Prices Making & Breaking Records

| September 20, 2021

ACT Research reports preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) dropped 5% month-over-month and 24% y/y in August

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.

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.”

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