According to the latest numbers from ACT Research, preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) slipped for a second consecutive month in December (-7%), marking the first time since January 2016 that same dealer sales have fallen below 2,000 units. However, the report indicated that this is not particularly concerning, in and of itself.
Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included year-to-date (YTD) comparisons for December 2018, which showed that volume was up 8% compared to the end of 2017. Average price rose 13% YTD, average miles were flat, and average age improved but was still 3% below YTD December 2017.
“Stories of a white hot market abound, with many dealers commenting that they do not have sufficient inventory to meet demand,” noted Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research. “However, in the context of increasing general economic uncertainty, slowing freight growth, and softening new truck demand, lower used truck sales beg the question of whether demand is waning, supply is wanting, or the reality lies somewhere between. If used truck pricing is any indication, and we believe that it is, demand is still easily outpacing supply.”