Preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) were virtually flat month-over-month in September, up just 1%, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research. Longer-term, volumes rose 51% compared to September 2019, and were up 21% when measured against the first nine months of last year.
Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for September 2020, which showed that average prices increased 2%, while average miles rose 1% and average age was unchanged, compared to August. Year-to-date, average price, miles, and age were all lower, down 14%, 3%, and 8%, respectively, compared to the first nine months of 2019.
“Though expectations were tainted by COVID-19, the used truck market was in decline before that,” said Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research. “Interestingly, it is how the economy is recovering from COVID-19 that seems to be driving the surprise gains in the used truck market. “Consumers have pivoted from spending on many services to spending more on goods, and that has led to a very strong freight market and tightening capacity. Ultimately, this leads to solidification of used truck pricing and although not as good as it was last year, it leads us to say ‘better than expected’ in the used truck market, too.”