There were 354,400 used commercial vehicles (GVW Class 3-8) registered in the U.S. during the first two quarters of 2010 -- a record for a six-month time frame, according to Polk, which provides data-driven solutions for the commercial vehicle industry.
The historic number represents nearly 68 percent of the commercial vehicle market, and also an increase of 28.8 percent over the same time frame in 2009.
“I know that there’s a lot of activity out there, and we’re selling lots of trucks,” said Marty Crawford, senior account manager for North American Trucks and president of the Used Truck Association. “It would not surprise me to find out that a lot of companies had trucks dormant for a year or so and they brought them back in and put them back on the road.
“Used truck sales are going through the roof now. I’m seeing large fleet owners and operators buying used vehicles to last them until they’re sure this economy is solid. And then also to avoid spending so much money on new technology at this point. I think we’ll see them start buying new trucks probably no later than next year.”
The combined registrations of new and used commercial vehicles in the first half of 2010 were 524,700, representing an 18.9 percent increase over the same period last year. New commercial vehicle registrations saw just a slight increase of 3.1 percent.
The uptick in the used market signifies a large opportunity for aftermarket parts manufacturers and suppliers that rely on the commercial repair and replacement business.
“Their business should be fantastic right now,” Crawford said. “We’re seeing a lot of used trucks going to buyers who normally are new-truck buyers. Those people are running them hard, and I’d think they’re using a lot of parts.”