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ACT Research: U.S. Used Truck Retail Sales Still Firing on All Cylinders

April 21, 2022, 07:05 AM
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Preliminary used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) grew 23 percent month-over-month, but were 23 percent lower compared to March of 2021, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research.

Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for March 2022, which showed that the average retail price rose 11 percent, as average miles and age were both lower, down 3 percent and 7 percent, respectively, from February. Compared to March of 2021, the average retail price was 90 percent higher, with average miles and age greater by 3 percent each.

ACT’s Classes 3-8 Used Truck Report 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 – Freightliner (Daimler); Kenworth and Peterbilt (Paccar); International (Navistar); and Volvo and Mack (Volvo).

According to Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research, “Positively, used truck sales continued to benefit from recent moderate supply-chain improvements. Preliminary same dealer retail sales strung together a second consecutive monthly gain (+23 percent), and a strong one it was, well above the historical seasonal increase of 13 percent.” He elaborated, “It almost goes without saying that the used truck industry is still plagued by demand greatly in excess of supply. As a result, longer-term comparisons are more representative of current market conditions.”

Tam continued, “A quick look at the average selling price for all reported units (auction, retail and wholesale) presents a pretty compelling argument that the current cycle has just about topped out. The question on everyone’s mind is how quickly will the market correct.” He concluded, “The answer truly depends on what happens with the economy, freight, freight rates, and truckers. For the record, ACT Research is not forecasting a recession in 2022 or 2023, or through 2027 for that matter. While recent developments have increased the likelihood, we believe there is sufficient strength to avoid economic contraction.”

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