ACT Research: US Used Class 8 Retail Sales Close 2021 With 6% Increase

Preliminary used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) in December grew 4% month over month and ended 2021 with a 6% year-to-date increase despite dropping 30% on a year-over-year basis in December, according to preliminary data from ACT Research.

Other data released in ACT Research’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for December, which showed that average prices rose 1%, while average miles grew 4% and average age rose 3% compared with November. Compared with December of 2020, average prices were 67% higher, with average miles and age greater by 9% and 8%, respectively. On a year-to-date basis, average prices were 42% above their year-ago levels, with average miles and age each 1% higher on a year-to-date basis.

“Preliminary same dealer retail sales improved for the first time in three months in December but still lag compared to their year-ago level,” Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research, said. “The month-over-month gain was muted compared to typical December activity, which is understandable in the context of insufficient inventory.

“Despite the current softness, preliminary retail sales suggest the market improved by 10% compared to 2020. The gain is not only a reflection of how challenging 2020 was, but also a commentary about how resourceful the industry can be, as it pulled out all the stops to keep the wheels of commerce rolling, regardless of the challenges COVID still presents. Driven by robust demand and anemic supply, the preliminary average retail selling price for used Class 8 trucks continued its relentless upward trek in December. And while the short-term outlook for pricing calls for sustained strength, albeit at a declining rate, we remain convinced that all of the dynamics currently in play suggest an orderly reversion to a more normal (whatever that is) market as opposed to a free-fall or crash scenario.”

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