ACT Research: Used Class 8 Retail Volumes Drop in September

According to the latest release of the ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks report, used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) were down 12% month over month in September. Average miles was up 2%, with average price and age both down 3%, month-to-month. Longer term, average price was higher year-year and year-to-date, as were average miles, with price up 20% year-to-date September, average miles 3% higher compared to the first nine months of 2021, and average age down 1% for the same time period.

“Same dealer retail sales of used Class 8 trucks fell in September, shedding 12% m/m,” Steve Tam, VP at ACT Research, said. “Used truck sales typically see a small decline in September, relative to August, but this drop exceeded expectations. As has been the case for the past several months, looking back at new truck production in the recent past has provided some meaningful insight into where used truck sales volumes may be headed in the near term.”

“While July’s output lagged, it did not portend the magnitude of the pull back the used truck market eventually experienced in September. That suggests in addition to supply, demand factors may have been at work. That should not come as a surprise to anyone in the industry.” Tam said, “Worth noting is total used truck sales for September were actually 16% higher month-to-month. This is due to outsized auction activity (104% month-to-month), which is not unusual at quarter end. Rounding out the channels, wholesale transactions were 18% lower in September, relative to August, as dealers remain cautious about building inventory. Developments in the freight and freight rates market, and in particular the spot markets rather than the contract market, remain the best near-term indicator of not only used truck volumes, but also values.”

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