ACT Research: July Used Class 8 Sales Volumes Dip M/M and Y/Y

According to the latest release ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks report, used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) were 4% lower month over month in July. In addition, volumes were down 18% year over year but up 13% year to date. Average prices were 3% lower compared with June prices but 46% more expensive than in July of 2020, while average miles were 5% higher month over month and unchanged year over year in July. In addition, average age was up 3% from June but down 1% compared with July of 2020.

“Used Class 8 same dealer sales volumes continued to fight an uphill battle in July, slipping 4% compared to June. Historically, sales in June and July are pretty similar, so the decline was a little bigger than expected,” Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research, said. “At the heart of the issue is used truck inventory, which continues to lose traction. Underscoring the point, sales were also down year over year. On a positive note, they remained in positive territory year to date, albeit at a declining margin.”

Looking at the different sales channels for used Class 8 vehicles, Tam said, “Channel results were also mixed, with the wholesale and retail segments in decline in the near term. All three outlets saw lower volumes compared to July 2020. Through the first seven months of the year, both the auction and wholesale markets are still in decline.

“Industry participants, particularly dealers, are beginning to express concerns about the protracted, strong cycle and asking when prices will start to decline. While we do [not] formally forecast used truck prices, we believe that pricing will remain robust, that is, higher year over year into Q2/22. Perhaps more salient is that we view the catalyst for change as an orderly attainment of equilibrium between supply and demand rather than a flood of inventory that could collapse the market. It is also important to keep in mind that when prices do start to decline, it will be from record high levels.”

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