Used Class 8 sales volumes, prices rose YTD in August

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Updated Sep 30, 2021

Used Class 8 volumes were 4 percent lower month-over-month. Longer term, volumes were down 22 percent year over year, but up 7 percent year to date. Average prices were 6 percent higher compared to July, 48 percent more expensive than in August of 2020, and 33 percent greater year to date, according to the recent release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks, published by ACT Research.

Average miles were 1 percent fewer month over month, but 1 percent more year over year. Average age was up 4 percent from July and 9 percent older compared to August of 2020.

Used Class 8 same dealer sales volumes saw their fifth consecutive month of sequential declines in August. Typically, sales in August usually mark the beginning of the return to improving business following the summer doldrums,” says ACT Vice President Steve Tam. He adds, “The departure from normal serves to highlight the macro view of the challenges facing the larger industry, namely a lack of used truck inventory brought on by the curtailed manufacture of new trucks.”

Looking at the different sales channels for used Class 8 vehicles, Tam says, “Channel results were mixed, with the wholesale and retail segments showing a small increase in the near term. All three outlets saw lower volumes compared to August 2020. Through the first eight months of the year, only the retail segment has improved.

“Aside from bemoaning the lack of inventory, the most popular topic of conversation in the industry centers on understanding pricing dynamics, especially when the market will begin to cool. The answer to the question is one that depends, in part, on one’s perspective,” he says.

“On a sequential basis, our expectation is that growth should continue through the end of 1Q22. Looking back to 2020, pricing will start seeing increasingly tougher comparisons with October sales. With the additional buffer, year-over-year growth will likely continue through 2Q22. Key to these expectations is the balance between fleet size and freight to be hauled and work to be done,” Tam says.

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.        

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