According to ACT Research's most recent used truck market report, Class 8 used truck volumes were down 18 percent in July compared to June, but remained up 13 percent year to date. Pricing remains stable, down 3 percent month over month but up 46 percent compared to July 2020. Average miles and age were up 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively, in July.
“Used Class 8 same dealer sales volumes continued to fight an uphill battle in July, slipping 4 percent compared to June. Historically, sales in June and July are pretty similar, so the decline was a little bigger than expected,” says Steve Tam, vice president, ACT Research. “At the heart of the issue is used truck inventory, which continues to lose traction. Underscoring the point, sales were also down year over year. On a positive note, they remained in positive territory year-to-date, albeit at a declining margin.”
Looking at the different sales channels for used Class 8 vehicles, Tam adds, “Channel results were also mixed, with the wholesale and retail segments in decline in the near term. All three outlets saw lower volumes compared to July 2020. Through the first seven months of the year, both the auction and wholesale markets are still in decline.”
Tam says industry participants, particularly dealers, are beginning to express concerns about the protracted, strong cycle and asking when prices will start to decline. While ACT does no formally forecast used truck prices, Tam says the company believes pricing will remain robust, that is, higher year over year, into the second quarter of next year.
“Perhaps more salient is that we view the catalyst for change as an orderly attainment of equilibrium between supply and demand, rather than a flood of inventory that could collapse the market. It is also important to keep in mind that when prices do start to decline, it will be from record high levels,” he says.