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U.S. used truck retail sales, average price and age up YTD

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David Sickels is the Senior Editor of Fleet Equipment. He has a history of working in the media, marketing and automotive industries in both print and online.

Preliminary used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) decreased 22% month-over-month and dropped 23% y/y in November, according to ACT Research. That said, through the first 11 months of the year, activity is 10% higher compared to the same period a year ago, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research.

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Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for November 2021, which showed that average prices rose 11%, as average miles dropped 3% compared to October. Average age was flat m/m. Compared to November of 2020, average price was 69% higher, with average miles and age greater by 3% and 8%, respectively. On a year-to-date basis, average price is 40% above its year-ago level for the first 11 months of 2020, with average miles unchanged and age up 1% on a year-to-date basis.

“Preliminary same dealer sales moved deeper into negative territory in November,” said Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research. “Historically, the sequential decline in November was very characteristic, as November is the second weakest sales month of the year.

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“Despite the current softness, sales continue to outperform on a YTD basis, now 10% higher with just one month remaining in the year,” he continued. “Even though inventory is tight, it has not stopped flowing. New truck activity continues to feed the seemingly insatiable demand from owner/operators and fleets alike.” He concluded, “As has been the case since late 2020, the industry’s inability to meet truckers’ equipment needs has resulted in unrelentless used truck price escalation. As we have posited for some time, increasingly difficult comparisons are shrinking long-term gains, and owing to expectations for more of the same as it relates to freight and equipment availability, prices are likely to continue climbing higher in the near term.”

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