Used Class 8 Truck Sales Retreated in February, 8% Lower M/M

| April 3, 2023

ACT Research reports used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) were 8% lower m/m in February

According to the latest State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks, published by ACT Research, used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) were 8% lower m/m in February. Average mileage was unchanged, with average price and age both down, 4%, and 2%, respectively. Longer term, average price, age and volumes were lower, with miles higher y/y.

The report from ACT 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.

“Following two months of gains, same dealer Class 8 retail truck sales retreated into negative territory in February, down 8% from January,” said Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research. He continued, “Sales typically see a moderate decrease (≈4%) in February, so the drop was directionally consistent with seasonality, though a bit steeper than expected. It is no secret that ‘normal’ has been anything but in this cycle, so given the relatively small variance, it is tough to get too excited.”

He added, “Looking ahead to what we can expect for March, history suggests sales typically increase 15-20% from February. While inventory has ticked up and new truck activity could support that much of an increase in used truck sales, the economy and freight are still on the soft side. The challenge is figuring out how much pent-up demand exists in the used truck market.”

Tam concluded, “Concerns remain regarding how owner/operators and small fleets will fair in 2023, particularly as freight rates fall and operating costs rise. While the economy may avoid a recession, inflation remains a very real concern. And all of this says nothing about what fleets’ equity position in their equipment looks like. Those that bought at the top of the market are likely underwater or headed there. With that in mind, we expect, the market to fall as much as 10%.”

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