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Used Class 8 truck sales down 6 percent in January, ACT Research says

By Cliff Abbott
The Trucker Staff

3/8/2013

COLUMBUS, Ind. – Sales of used Class 8 trucks were down 6 percent in January, according to the latest release of the “State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks,” published by ACT Research.

“While one data point does not make a trend, longer term softness is in line with expectations, as new truck buyers have held onto their equipment longer before trading,” said Steve Tam, vice president - Commercial Vehicle Sector with ACT. “The net effect is older, higher mileage trucks, which translates into lower prices. It is now a buyers’ market,” he added.

The report from ACT provides data on the average used price for the top-selling Class 8 model for each of the major truck brands, including Freightliner; Kenworth and Peterbilt; International; and Volvo and Mack.

In his Commercial Truck Blog published on the NADA website, Chris Visser noted that the retail price of the average sleeper-equipped tractor fell $1095 or 2.2 percent, with an average price of $48,724. Year over year, January prices were 2.4 percent higher than the same month in 2012.

The average mileage of tractors sold increased to 542,347, a 0.7 percent rise over December numbers. The figure was 0.06 percent lower than January 2012 average mileage.

The average age of tractors sold in January was 77 months, unchanged from the December average age but four months, or 3.9 percent, older than the average used tractor price in January of 2012.

On the wholesale side, Visser noted that the average age of sleeper tractors traded among dealers or auctioned was 88 months; 5 months newer than in December of 2012 while still 22 months older than in January of 2012. The average mileage of wholesale sleeper tractors in January was 715,346, which was 43,940 or 6.1 percent higher than tractors wholesaled in December and 134,061 miles, or 18.7 percent, higher than January of 2012.

Commenting on the trends, Visser said, “Since the 3rd quarter of 2012, average retail pricing has remained in the high-$40K range, and mileage has remained in the mid-500K range. There has, of course, been price movement within specific mileage and age segments, but in general these results point to a market with a consistent supply/demand relationship.”

Visser’s blog is available on the NADA website at: nada.com/b2b/NADAOutlook/CommercialTruckBlog.aspx.

Trailer orders decline in January

Orders for new trailers have fluctuated since October of 2012, dropping 34 percent in January from December’s level. January orders totaled 20,357, according to the most current State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report published by ACT

Frank Maly, director-CV Transportation with ACT called the December order level “unsustainable,” adding, “January activity generally met our expectations that the new year might start a bit slow before gaining stride.” 

The report noted that January order backlogs increased to 5.3 months.

ACT publishes industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market. Reports can be obtained on the company’s website at actresearch.net.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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