Preliminary Class 8 same dealer used truck retail sales volume managed a sizable gain, ballooning 23% m/m in March. This improvement was directionally consistent with, but smaller in comparison to, the 93% pop in auctions sales and a 34% bump in wholesale transactions, according to ACT Research. Combined, the used truck industry saw preliminary same dealer sales increase 53% m/m, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research.
Compared to February 2023, according to the company:
- Average retail volumes increased 23%.
- Retail price increased 4%.
- Miles declined 6%.
- And age declined 2%.
Compared to March of 2022, according to the company:
- Average retail volumes declined 13%.
- Price declined 26%.
- Miles increased 3%.
- And age declined 1%.
“Historically, March is one of the best months for sales, but not as strong as indicated by preliminary data,” said Steve Tam, Vice President, ACT Research. “Regardless, buyers are taking advantage of improved inventory and lower prices to refresh their fleets with younger, lower mileage units.”
He added, “The preliminary average retail price (same dealer sales) of used Class 8 trucks sold in March gained 4% m/m, to $74,500, or 26% below where it was in March 2022. The unexpected gain is somewhat the result of younger, lower mileage trucks making their way into the market as the logjam on new truck purchases and subsequent trades continued to break up.”
Tam concluded by saying fleets have been forced to hold onto their trucks longer because of supply-chain constraints. Will there eventually be a large influx of meaningfully older, higher mileage trucks into the secondary market? And if so, what will happen to pricing? According to Tam, no one knows for sure. While an uptick is expected, there won’t be a flood of this vintage equipment.