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US Used Truck Data Messy in the Details

| September 19, 2022

ACT Research reports Preliminary used Class 8 retail volumes increased 43% month-over-month, but were 15% lower compared to August of 2021

Preliminary used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) increased 43% month-over-month, but were 15% lower compared to August of 2021, 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 August 2022, which showed that average retail price fell 4%, average miles flattened, and average age contracted 3% from July’s readings. Compared to August of 2021, the average retail price was 30% higher, with average miles and age both greater by 3%.

According to Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research, “The used truck market is a market in transition, very similar to what we are seeing not only in the broader economy, but also in the new truck market. Different segments are performing in varying manners and that is manifesting in our world, too.” He elaborated, “Digging into the details, flat miles and younger trucks would normally suggest improved pricing, but as freight continues to soften and spot rates fall, not as many buyers are looking for trucks. Even though stocks are doing the used truck ‘no step’ dance, the imbalance is sending values lower.”

Tam further expanded upon the used truck “no step” dance, “A combination of the Texas two-step and the expression two steps forward and one step back, the phrase is meant to convey the complete and utter lack of progress the industry has observed in bolstering its anemic inventory. Though it remains one of the most elusive metrics in the industry, what data anecdotes we are able to garner suggests that there are no more used trucks in inventory today than there were six months ago.” He concluded, “On one hand, that helps protect sellers from holding over-valued units. But ultimately, it has also limited income potential and denied buyers’ demand.”

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