ACT Research: August Used Class 8 Sales Volumes Shrink on M/M and Y/Y Basis

According to the latest release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks report from ACT Research, used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) were 4% lower month over month in August. Meanwhile, volumes were down 22% year over year but up 7% on a year-to-date basis. Average prices were 6% higher compared with July, 48% higher than August of 2020 and 33% higher on a year-to-date basis. Average miles were 1% lower month over month but up 1% year over year. Average age was up 4% from July and 9% compared with August of 2020.

“Used Class 8 same dealer sales volumes saw their fifth consecutive month of sequential declines in August. Typically, sales in August usually mark the beginning of the return to improving business following the summer doldrums,” Steve Tam, vice president of ACT Research, said. “The departure from normal serves to highlight the macro view of the challenges facing the larger industry, namely a lack of used truck inventory brought on by the curtailed manufacture of new trucks.”

Looking at the different sales channels for used Class 8 vehicles, Tam said, “Channel results were mixed, with the wholesale and retail segments showing a small increase in the near term. All three outlets saw lower volumes compared to August 2020. Through the first eight months of the year, only the retail segment has improved.

“Aside from bemoaning the lack of inventory, the most popular topic of conversation in the industry centers on understanding pricing dynamics, especially when the market will begin to cool. The answer to the question is one that depends, in part, on one’s perspective.

“On a sequential basis, our expectation is that growth should continue through the end of Q1/22. Looking back to 2020, pricing will start seeing increasingly tougher comparisons with October sales. With the additional buffer, year-over-year growth will likely continue through Q2/22. Key to these expectations is the balance between fleet size and freight to be hauled and work to be done.”

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