Used-Truck Prices Up in July

Aug. 28, 2014
Average prices for used medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the first month of this year’s third quarter ran higher than they did in the third quarter of 2013.

Average prices for used medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the first month of this year’s third quarter ran higher than they did in the third quarter of 2013, according to the “Commercial Truck Monthly Report” for July on the vehicle-resale market just released by The Truck Blue Book (TBB).

Prices rose again for the medium-duty market during July— and that on the heels of increases recorded for June by TBB, the report’s author Jessica Carr, TBB’s associate analyst-- commercial trucks, told FleetOwner.    

Indeed, according to Carr, last month moved average medium-duty prices up higher than any other month has so far this year.

The heavy-duty private [sale] market also saw prices increases last month, welcome news after the slight decreases in June and larger drops incurred during May.

“July started Q3 off with prices closer to the way Q2 started before the May and June dips for heavy duty,” remarked Carr. “July brought on a price increase of 2.8% on the [heavy-duty] private selling market, while auction selling was only up 1.5%-- starting off Q3 above where Q2 left off.”

Given those higher prices, it’s not surprising that TBB also found that July volume was “still low” for the used-truck market, yet Carr noted that “no troubling drops” occurred during the month.

Meanwhile, the latest “State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks” report issued by ACT Research pegged the volume of used Class 8 trucks sold in July as 2% above June’s volume.

“Year-to-date (YTD) sales are down 5%, but the YTD contraction in sales is getting smaller each month,” pointed out said Steve Tam, ACT’s vp-- Commercial Vehicle Sector.

He also remarked that in Class 8, the auction and retail markets both contracted month over month, while the wholesale group gained 64% month over month.

As for where pricing is at, Tam said that “the average selling price of total reported Class 8 trucks remained at a high level, but was unremarkable compared to last month, climbing only 1%.

“However,” he continued, “there appears to be meaningful upside potential in our expectation of price appreciation up to 10% for 2014.”

The TBB report provides a deep-dive into the current pricing environment.The July price increases are due to the increases in used trucks between 2004 and 200,” Carr explained. “These MYs had an average increase of 6.5% during July, while the remaining years saw decreases ranging between 5.4% for 2014s and 2% for 2008s.

“Looking specifically at heavy-duty trucks,” she continued, “2014s remained static between June and July, while 2013s saw the largest decrease at 5%. The largest two increases were on 2006 and 2007 models.”

However, Carr said the medium-duty trends for July “tell a different story…. The 2007s saw a drastic increase while the 2010s a significant drop in average prices. The majority of the model years saw decreases between 2014 and 2008, but the high increases on the 2004 and 2007 models held them in the positive especially since older models hold most of the volume.”