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ACT Research: Used Truck Sales Fall 16% Y/Y; Trailer Orders Drop

December 24, 2019, 07:10 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

After an anomalous sequential gain in October, used Class 8 same dealer sales volumes returned to trend in November, falling 35 percent month over month, according to the latest release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks, published by ACT Research. Longer term, sales were down 9 percent year over year and 16 percent year to date compared to the first 11 months of 2018.

The report also indicated used Class 8 average miles decreased M/M, down 5 percent, and were up a mere 1 percent year-to-date, while average age rose 3 percent compared to October and 5 percent on a year-to-date basis. Average price also grew 5 percent M/M, while flat YTD.

“Dealers are reporting used truck sales are lagging, inventory is building, prices are falling and the used truck market remains a buyer’s market,” said Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research.

He continued, “While all of this is not welcome news for finance companies, truckers trading trucks, truck OEMs or dealers, it is good news for people who are buying trucks. Customers are finding that there are bargains available for all makes and models of used trucks, and there are some fantastic buys.”

U.S. Trailer Net Orders Dropped 38% M/M, 56% Y/Y and 52% YTD

New U.S. trailer orders of 21,200 were down 43 percent month-over-month in November, and after accounting for cancellations, net orders of 19,800 dropped 38 percent, after hitting their fourth consecutive sequential rise in October. Longer-term comparisons show net orders down 56 percent year-over-year and 52 percent compared to the first 11 months of 2018, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report. However, the report reminds readers that the year-over-year comparison is to the second-highest order month in history.

“Not surprisingly, the dramatic revisions to fleet investment plans are reflected in both power units and trailers,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “While still making money, margins are being squeezed, and as a result, CAPEX shrinks. In some cases, comments on fleets postponing scheduled replacement have been heard.”

Additionally, Maly said, “With industry fleet consolidation, the swings, both positive and negative, can be exacerbated; we’re seeing that impact on the current orderboard. Seasonal patterns projected November to be 2019’s strongest month, but on a seasonally adjusted basis, November volume was off 42 percent month-over-month and down 54 percent year-over-year.”

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