ACT Research: Preliminary Used Class 8 Volumes Contracted M/M in March, but Remained Positive Y/Y and YTD

Preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) contracted 8% month-over-month in 2020’s third month, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3–8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research. Longer-term, volumes rose 5% compared to March 2019, and grew 15% against the first three months of last year.

Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for March 2020, which showed that average prices were down 1%, while average miles and age both increased, up 2% and 1%, respectively.

ACT’s Classes 3–8 Used Truck Report 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 — Freightliner (Daimler); Kenworth and Peterbilt (Paccar); International (Navistar); and Volvo and Mack (Volvo). This report is utilized by those throughout the industry, including commercial vehicle dealers to gain a better understanding of the used truck market, especially as it relates to changes in near-term performance.

According to Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research, “In normal times, sales increase around 15% from February to March, but these are not normal times, and the disconnect is likely the result of COVID-19.” He continued, “Freight was relatively strong for a good portion of March, as retailers and grocers scrambled to restock empty shelves. With that work largely complete, freight is falling and used truck sales and prices are expected to do the same.” Tam concluded, “The economy is expected to descend into recession, if it has not already done so, and with uncertainty about virtually everything high, the well prepared will plan for the worst while hoping for the best.”

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

ACT’s 63rd seminar is scheduled for August 11–13, 2020, and will feature dealer, alternative power, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of alternative power on the market in the near future.

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ACT Research is the leader in commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis, and forecasting services for North America.