'Strong used truck pricing into 2022 is essentially guaranteed,' J.D. Power reports

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Updated Nov 23, 2021
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October was another strong month for the used truck market and it appears November will be as well, J.D. Power reported Wednesday in its November 2021 Commercial Truck Guidelines industry report 

In the auction space, volume pulled back in November with fewer scheduled auctions and lower inventories across the country. The market remains heavily weighted for sellers, the company says. Pricing within J.D. Power's benchmark model was as follows:

  • Model year (MY) 2018: $85,057 average; $1,248 (1.5 percent) higher than September
  • MY2017: $69,449 average; $6,974 (11.1 percent) higher than September
  • MY 2016: $64,837 average; $6,045 (10.3 percent) higher than September
  • MY 2015: $44,520 average; $3,636 (8.9 percent) higher than September
  • MY 2014: $34,618 average; $3,563 (11.5 percent) higher than September

J.D. Power says month over month trucks aged four to six years brought 7 percent more than September. Compared to the first ten months of 2020, the company's benchmark model is running 89.9 percent. It's also 71.2 percent ahead of 2019. Late-model trucks have appreciated 5.6 percent per month on average in 2021 to date.

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"The sense of urgency is as strong as ever in the auction lanes, with buyers continuing to pay record pricing for desirable trucks," the company states. "We’ll be keeping our eye out for an increased number of model-year 2019 trucks in the auction lanes in upcoming months as those units turn four years old. Otherwise, expect similar conditions through the new year."

11 21 jd Power Auction Used Truck Prices

Business was equally strong in the retail space, J.D. Power reports, as supply of late-model trucks remain inadequate to meet demand.

The average sleeper tractor retailed in October was 73 months old, had 450,478 miles, and brought $82,588. Compared to September, J.D. Power says this average sleeper was one month newer, had 8,915 (1.9 percent) fewer miles, and brought $4,381 (5.6 percent) more money. Compared to October 2020, this average sleeper was five months older, had 1,447 (0.3 percent) fewer miles, and brought $38,734 (88.3 percent) more money.

Average pricing in the common 2- to 6-year-old cohort, pricing was as follows:

  • MY 2020: $134,178; $3,430 (2.6 percent) higher than September
  • MY 2019: $107,725; $3,454 (3.3 percent) higher than September
  • MY 2018: $86,401; $1,150 (1.3 percent) higher than September
  • MY 2017: $72,682; $2,639 (3.8 percent) higher than September 
  • MY 2016: $55,904; $157 (0.3 percent) higher than September

J.D. Power says late-model trucks were up 2.8 percent month over month compared to September and in the first ten months of the year they are up 33.9 percent. They also are up 13.7 percent ahead of the same period in 2019. On average, the company says late-model trucks have appreciated 2.8 percent per month in 2021—and that number is close to 5 percent for low-mileage trucks. 

Retail sales were steady at 4.3 trucks per rooftop. J.D. Power says that number would grow if more trucks were available to move. 

11 21 jd Power Retail Used Truck Prices

"Strong used truck pricing into 2022 is essentially guaranteed," J.D. Power states. 

The medium-duty space also had a good month in October. Cabovers were basically on par with last month, while conventionals saw healthy increases month-over-month.

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Class 3-4 cabovers averaged $23,022 in October. This was $482 (2.1 percent) lower than September, but $9,679 (92.2 percent) higher than October 2020. Class 4 conventionals averaged $29.618, $732 (2.5 percent) higher than September, and $7,943 (36.6 percent) higher than October 2020. Finally, Class 6 conventional pricing averaged $38,707 in October, $2,256 (6.2 percent) higher than September, and $17,970 (86.7 percent) higher than October 2020.

J.D. Power says the market looks good for the year ahead, and references two takeaways from the 2021 Used Truck Association (UTA) Convention that show reasons for continued optimism.

"First, model-year 2019 deliveries were about 30 percent higher than model-year 2018 deliveries. 2019’s turn four years old in January. We’ve seen an incremental increase in the number of 2019’s sold in recent months, but demand for these trucks is still outstripping supply. This model year’s higher build could become more meaningful later in 2022 assuming economic conditions start returning towards historical trend," the company states. 

"Second, any 'shadow inventory' of unseated fleet trucks waiting for drivers is most likely negligible at this point. The expansion of the driver pool combined with the all-time-high value of a used truck means there’s no rationale for holding idle inventory. Eliminating this unknown makes it easier to interpret truck utilization data."

For more information, and to read the entirety of this month’s report, please CLICK HERE.

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