J.D. Power says Class 8 retail was weak in November, auction pricing stable

Number of trucks retailed per dealership rooftop.

Class 8 retail was 'dismal' in November, J.D. Power says, saying retail sales per rooftop came in at 2.2 trucks, the lowest result ever recorded. 

Industry analyst Chris Visser says that increasing interest rates, declining equity and a cooling freight market all contributed to the weak market. The average sleeper truck sold in November was 73 months old with 469,492 miles and brought in $89,810. This was three months older than October's average truck with more miles and about 6 percent cheaper. 

Chart showing the average retail selling price of three- to five-year-old sleeper tractors, adjusted for mileage.

November pricing was as followed for up to six-year-old trucks: 

  • 2021: $150,448; $1,457 or 1 percent lower than October. 
  • 2020: $115,317; $6,771 or 5.5 percent lower than October. 
  • 2019: $102,855; $855 or 0.7 percent higher than October. 
  • 2018: $77,694; $7,110 or 8.4 percent lower than October. 
  • 2017: $65,710; $4,230 or 6 percent lower than October. 

Average auction price for three- to six-year-old benchmark sleeper trucks

At auction, pricing for clean trucks with average to low mileage has been stable since late in the third quarter. Average pricing for the benchmark truck in November was: 

  • 2021: $159,070.
  • 2020: $96,350; $7,325 or 8.2 percent higher than October. 
  • 2019: $77,676; $3,229 or 4.3 percent higher than October. 
  • 2018: $59,259; $4,090 or 6.5 percent lower than October. 
  • 2017: $40,126; $1,542 or 4 percent higher than October. 

November's auctioned trucks averaged 3 percent more money than October, but 27 percent less than in November 2021. Year to date, three- to six-year-old sleeper trucks depreciated 4.7 percent per month on average. Monthly depreciation, as well as pricing, depends on mileage and specifications. 

[RELATED: Used Class 8 retail sales fall in October]

Visser notes the supply of new trucks is insufficient to cause a substantial influx of late-model trades and that selling prices are still up to 45 percent higher than the last pre-pandemic peak. 

Medium-duty truck sales were lower in November. Cabover pricing remained flat, but conventional trucks had a strong month. Average pricing for the benchmark conventional group was $34,356 in November, 7.8 percent higher than October and 15.5 percent higher than November 2021. Volume was down in November. Visser says that, as yet, this is natural market movement and the company expects a return to trend for December. 

Used truck markets across the board started coming back down after the stratospheric pricing boom of 2021. Freight is cooling off and OEMs are delivering some new trucks. Looking ahead, analysts at the company predict the count of trucks moving freight to continue to decline, reaching the floor in the third quarter. 

"We're not overly bearish on macroeconomic conditions going forward, but we have been talking about a return to a more typical truck supply/demand relationship all year," the report says. "The current floor in auction pricing should shift back to depreciation as the supply of new trucks results in more late-model trades." 

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