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Lack of Inventory Hamstrings Used Truck Sales Efforts

| July 16, 2021

ACT Research reports used Class 8 volumes dropped 6% month-over-month

Preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) dropped 6% month-over-month and 12% y/y in June. Through the first six months of the year, activity is 23% 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 June 2021, which showed that average prices increased 5%, as average miles fell 1% and average age was unchanged compared to May. Compared to June of 2020, average price was 63% higher, with average miles and age lower y/y by 5% and 2%, respectively. On a year-to-date basis, average price is 38% above its year-ago level for the first six months of 2020, with average miles and age down 4% and 3%, respectively, on a year-to-date basis.

According to Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research, “The industry is starting to see tougher comparisons, since it did not take long to shake off the immediate effects of COVID-19. Year-to-date gains also started to erode, slipping nine percentage points, to 23%. The drop in sales was counter to seasonal expectations, which called for about a 10% increase. However, lack of inventory continues to hamstring sales efforts.”

Regarding used truck prices, Tam added, “For the first time since we started following the used truck market almost 20 years ago, the average price of 3-year-old trucks with 300-400,000 miles on them broke the six-figure barrier. The feat is made even more impressive when one considers prices for these late model trucks started the year at just over $70,000.” He concluded, “Arguably, the trucks did not change to justify the increase in price. Rather, the simple law of supply and demand has created a scarcity situation, and there is no viable substitute to the venerable Class 8 truck. Hence, prices are through the roof, with no relief in sight.”

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