COLUMBUS, Ind. – Preliminary used Class 8 tractor retail volumes increased 20% month-over-month but were 25% lower compared to December 2021, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research.
Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for December 2022, which showed that average retail price and miles declined 1% and 4%, respectively, while average age declined 1% from November’s readings.
Compared to December of 2021, the average retail price and miles declined by 3%, while age increased by 2%.
“The economy, freight market, and even the commercial vehicle industry are sprinkled with bits of data that suggest the situation might be better than some originally envisioned,” Steve Tam, vice president of ACT Research, said. “December used truck volumes are one of those data points.”
Tam noted that history suggests sales usually tick up at year end, but the 20% month-over-month increase was more than three times the typical growth rate.
“Despite all of the downside projections floating around today, there is still solid demand for used trucks of all vintages,” Tam said. “Supply also seems to be increasing, thanks to better new truck sales.”
Tam said demand has cooled to the point that prices will continue to decline.
“They are running smack dab into the toughest comparisons they have ever faced,” Tam said. “The ride is going to be a rough one, but when the industry comes out of the other end of the cycle, we believe prices will bottom above the low point of the previous cycle’s trough. Then it will be off to the races as the cycle resets.”
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