Decrease in used Class 8 retail volumes until opening in 2022; Prices continue to rise

According to ACT Researchlatest version of sound State of the Industry: US Class 3-8 Used Trucks report. Looking further ahead, volumes were down 37% year-over-year, while average prices were 7% higher than December and 83% more expensive than January 2021. Average mileage has increased by 2% month-on-month and 4% year-on-year, while the average age was stable compared to December but up 6% compared to January 2021.

“Class 8 used retail volumes at the same dealership declined further in January. The sequential decline was the fifth consecutive decline, as sales have been weaker for the past seven months,” said Steve Tam, vice president of ACT Research. “It should be noted that sales typically fall in January and the magnitude of the decline is in line with expectations. Interestingly, the slowdown in the aftermarket contradicts recent developments in the new truck market.”

Reviewing the various sales channels for Class 8 used vehicles, Tam said: “Short-term channel results moved in the same direction but to widely varying degrees, with auctions down 86 % [month over month], while wholesale activity fell by only 10%. All three markets also saw lower volumes compared to January 2021.

“We believe the industry will make progress by removing some of the supply chain barriers, allowing for moderate improvements in the production of new trucks. The higher production should help increase the flow of equipment into the secondary market, helping to increase sales volume and mitigating some of the widespread price appreciation the market has seen in 2020 and 2021.

“Used truck prices will continue to benefit from strong demand and tight supply, although growth rates are likely to decline significantly as freight capacity rebalances, and there is important to note that prices will pull back from record highs and should not collapse, but rather return in an orderly fashion towards the mean.

Edward N. Arrington