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ACT Research: Used Truck Sales Decline in September a Conundrum

October 19, 2023, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

Preliminary Class 8 same dealer used truck retail sales volumes suggest buyers tightened their belts in September, down 5 percent month/month, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research.

Compared to August 2023, average retail price was flat, while miles and age declined 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively. Compared to September of 2022, volumes, price, miles, and age declined.

According to Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research, “The slowing in retail sales volumes was consistent with and fell between the performance of the other channels. Auctions were 18 percent lower m/m, while wholesale transactions slipped 4.0 percent m/m.” He continued, “Historically, September is the fourth-best sales month of the year, running 6 percent above average and about 2.5 percent lower than August. The decline, while larger than expected, is both surprising and a bit of a conundrum.”

Tam concluded, “Disparity can and often does exist between average and actual individual results. While some dealers see volumes and prices rising, others are experiencing a very different reality, with soft sales volumes and even weaker pricing. While accepting the difference may be challenging, understanding it and developing an actionable plan to minimize or reverse it is a worthwhile pursuit.”

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). This report is utilized by those throughout the industry, including commercial vehicle dealers to gain a better understanding of the used truck market, especially as it relates to changes in near-term performance.

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