Despite price slip, used truck demand picked up in December

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Updated Jan 16, 2023
ACT Research December 2022 used truck sales report

The used truck market might not be cooking like it was a year ago, but December's industry data shows things might not be as bad as they seem in all sections of the market.

ACT Research reported late last week preliminary used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) increased 20 percent month over month in December. Though still 25 percent below December 2021, the month shows the economy, freight market, and even the commercial vehicle industry "are sprinkled with bits of data that suggest the situation might be better than some originally envisioned," says Steve Tam, ACT Research Vice President.

"December used truck volumes are one of those data points," Tam adds. “History suggests sales usually tick in at year end, but the 20 percent month over month increase was more than three times the typical growth rate. Despite all of the downside projections floating around today, there is still solid demand for used trucks of all vintages. Supply also seems to be increasing, thanks to better new truck sales."

Average retail price and miles declined by 1 and 4 percent in the month. Year over year those numbers were both down 3 percent.

Tam continues, "Prices will continue to come down. And they are running smack dab into the toughest comparisons they have ever faced. The ride is going to be a rough one, but when the industry comes out of the other end of the cycle, we believe prices will bottom above the low point of the previous cycle’s trough. Then it will be off to the races as the cycle resets."

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