Used wholesale market sees prices rise

Average Retail Selling Price for Sleeper TractorsThe used truck market took another step forward in its path to recovery last month, with auction volumes on the rise and retail sales remaining steady, J.D. Power reported this week in its Commercial Truck Guidelines Industry Report.

In the auction and wholesale space, J.D. Power states volume for the industry‘s most common sleeper tractors ticked back up in November after an October dip.

In the company’s benchmark model, model year 2013 tractors averaged $31,000 last month, up $2,880 compared to October; model year 2012 tractors averaged $25,600, down $400 month over month; and model year 2011 tractors averaged $23,045, down $955 from October. Monthly depreciation rates for those trucks were each less than 1 percent. As a group, J.D. Power states four- to six-year-old trucks are running 6.9 percent behind their counterparts from last year, but that “this comparison is turning more positive based on the recent stable pricing.”

Looking at the entire wholesale market, J.D. Power states late-model trucks’ prices are running just 1.3 percent lower than the same period in 2016. “Thanks to milder depreciation in the second half of 2017, year-over-year comparisons have swung positive,” J.D. Power reports.

The company goes on to state the average sleeper tractor sold wholesale in October was 66 months old, had 542,959 miles and brought $31,740. Compared to September, this average truck was two months newer, had 41,212 fewer miles and brought $1,862 (5.5 percent) less money. But in comparison to October 2016, this average tractor was 14 months newer, had 20,390 fewer miles and brought $877 (2.8 percent) more money.

Among the most popular 3- to 5-year-old truck cohort, J.D. Power states the average wholesale price in October was $39,953, which was $206 (0.5 percent) higher than September. That number was driven by 4- and 5-year-old trucks, which earned 20.5 percent and 7.6 percent higher prices in October, respectively.

The retail market also showed positive change, J.D. Power states, with volumes up and prices steady.

The average sleeper tractor retailed in October was 78 months old, had 462,171 miles and brought $47,876. Compared to the prior month, J.D. Power states those sleepers were six months older, had 4,073 fewer miles and brought $829 (1.8 percent) more money. Compared further to October 2016, J.D. Power says October 2017 sleepers sold were one month newer, had 1,207 fewer miles and brought $1,735 (3.6 percent) less money.

J.D. Power reports retail sleeper market pricing has trended 7.8 percent below 2016 this year, but that month-over-month, the prices have slipped by just 1.6 percent per month. “This figure is appreciably better than the 2.1 percent seen over the same period in 2016,” J.D. Power states.

Again focusing on the 3- to 5-year-old truck cohort, average prices were as follows:

  • 3-year-old trucks: $69,921, $634 lower (0.9 percent) than September
  • 4-year-old trucks: $55,000, $1,462 higher (6.9 percent) than September
  • 5-year-old trucks: $41,389, $1,197 lower (2.8 percent) than September

On a year-over-year basis, J.D. Power states late-model trucks sold in the first 10 months of 2017 are tracking 5.1 percent lower than 2016. But the company adds “thanks to the minimal depreciation since the third quarter, our year-over-year comparisons are looking more and more favorable. Demand is increasingly balancing out supply.”

Peterbilt‘s 579 continues to command the highest prices in the retail market, J.D. Power adds, and Freighliner’s Cascadia continues to post “solid numbers despite its substantial volume in the auction lanes.”

Lastly, J.D. Power reports prices in the Class 3-4 cabover market tracked back up in October after a slip the previous month, averaging $13,528 for the month. In the conventional marketplace, J.D. Power states Class 4 trucks were stable, averaged $18,554 in October, a $270 bump over September but $802 below October 2016. The Class 6 market didn’t fare as well, averaging $14,361, which was $2,706 lower than September and $4,290 behind October 2016.

Looking ahead, J.D. Power does not expect any significant market changes over the remainder of 2017. It states 2018 “will open on a somewhat positive note, with increased demand partially counteracting a higher supply. The volume of used sleeper tractors will increased in upcoming quarters, keeping downward pressure on pricing. However, we see depreciation remaining under 2 percent per month in the first half of 2018.”

To read this month’s report in its entirety, please CLICK HERE.

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