Used-Truck Registrations Set Record for First Three Quarters

Registrations of used commercial vehicles (GVW Class 3-8) in the U.S. soared to a record 649,900 units during the first three quarters of 2011, surpassing the previous record for the first nine months of a calendar year by nearly 24%, according to Polk.

This level of activity represents more than 66% of the commercial vehicle transactions during the nine-month period, Polk pointed out. And based on recent analysis, Polk said, that activity together with 333,200 registrations of new Class 3-8 vehicles over the same time period brings total commercial vehicle transactions during the nine-month period to nearly 1 million vehicles.

“This strong demand for used commercial vehicles is a positive sign that businesses feel comfortable enough with their future prospects to update their older equipment,” said Gary Meteer, Polk’s account director for commercial vehicle solutions.

Meteer pointed out that the “shortage of good clean GVW 8 vehicles in the market” has been confirmed by Polk, “as GVW 8 used vehicle transactions during the first nine months of this year were level with the transactions reported during the first nine months of 2010. However, GVW 8 used vehicle transactions have accounted for just 38.8% of total used transactions through September this year, vs. 47.6% during the same timeframe in 2010. New commercial registrations of GVW 8 vehicles represented 35.2% of total new commercial registrations through September.

Polk said its analysis is based on a “stringent definition” of a used transaction, as vehicles included in the Polk summary must meet two specific criteria: both the business name and the address of the business on the vehicle registration must have changed from the previous owner.

In addition to the Class 8 analysis, Polk found used registrations for Class 3 vehicles were up 58% in 2011 over 2010 transaction volumes through September, and accounted for 28.4% of all used transactions compared to 22.3% during the same period last year. Used Class 3 vehicles represented 66.3% of total Class 3 vehicle transactions during the nine-month period of 2011 vs. 57.4% during the same period in 2010.

“The continued strong demand for new GVW 3 vehicles, up 23.4% during the first nine-months of 2011, and a relatively flat vehicle population, indicates continued good availability of used GVW 3 product,” noted Meteer.

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