Despite volume uptick in July, ‘used truck sales are spotty’

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Used Class 8 dealer sales volumes were up 13 percent year-to-date compared with the first seven months of 2019, according to the latest release of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks.

Average price, miles and age were all below July 2019 year-to-date rates, down 15 percent, 1 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Near term, the report indicates used Class 8 sales volumes rose, up 15 percent sequentially, with average price unchanged month-over-month and average miles and age virtually flat, down 1 percent each, compared with June 2020.

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‘Perfect storm’ of positives raises trucking forecast

ACT Research announced in its recent North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook report that its forecasts for 2020 were raised across the board this month. 

ACT Vice President Steve Tam says last month’s strong sales, to a certain extent, likely can be attributed to weak sales in late spring because of coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders.

“That said, the remainder of the year continues to be overshadowed by uncertainty, as businesses evolve to new sales models and small truckers enter and leave the market,” Tam says.

“Regardless of July’s volumes, used truck sales are spotty, with some dealers and sales reps very busy, while others are experiencing very slow sales,” he says. “Another part of July’s success may be attributed to new or first-time buyers entering the market, attracted by near-record spot freight rates, with some customers who might otherwise have purchased a new truck turning to the late model, low mileage used trucks instead, after new truck production was halted in the spring to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

The report from ACT provides data on the average selling price, miles, and age based on a sample of industry data. In addition, the report provides the average selling price for top-selling Class 8 models for each of the major truck OEMs.

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