ACT Research: Used Truck Prices Rise as Secondary Market Inventory Trickles

According to the latest preliminary release of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks report, used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) dropped 3% month over month and 19% year over year in July. Through the first seven months of the year, activity is 13% higher compared with the same period a year ago.

Other data released in ACT Research’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for July 2021, which showed that average prices dropped 3%, while average miles and age rose 4% and 3%, respectively, compared with June. Compared with July of 2020, average prices were 45% higher, with average miles and age each up 1%. On a year-to-date basis, average prices are 31% above year-ago levels for the first seven months of 2020, with average miles and age each down 1% on a year-to-date basis.

“Preliminary same dealer sales continued to ebb lower in July, slowing 3% from June and 19% lower compared to July 2020,” Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research, said. “Typically, there is not much difference in activity between June and July.”

Regarding used truck prices, Tam said, “The bigger issue continues to be the narrative surrounding the trickle of inventory coming into the secondary market from the new truck side of the industry. Unable to take delivery of new trucks when originally planned, new truck buyers are hanging on to units they had planned to trade. And, of course, those new trucks have had their production hampered by pervasive part shortages. Owing to the scarcity, particularly in a strong demand environment, used truck prices continued to increase in July. Looking ahead, pricing will most likely peak around mid-year 2022 based on expected economic/freight activity and forecast supply and demand. It is important to keep in mind that when the market inevitably slows, it will be doing so from a record level.”

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