ACT Research: Used Class 8 Retail Sales Volumes and Prices Close 2021 Higher than 2020

According to the latest release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3–8 Used Trucks, published by ACT Research, used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) were 2% lower month-over-month. Longer term, volumes were down 28% y/y, but up 7% ytd. Average prices were 2% higher compared to November, 66% more expensive than in December of 2020, and 40% greater ytd. Average miles were flat m/m but up 4% y/y, while average age increased 4% from November and were 7% older compared to December of 2020.

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 — 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.

“Used Class 8 same dealer retail sales volumes finished 2021 on a low note, dropping below the 4,000-unit mark for the first time in 20 months,” said Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research. He continued, “Positively, retail dealers were able to sell 7% more units in 2021 vs. 2020, putting COVID farther into the review mirror.”

Looking at the different sales channels for used Class 8 vehicles, Tam commented, “Near-term channel results were wildly disparate, with auction sales more than doubling m/m, while wholesale activity was lower. The auction and wholesale markets also experienced lower volumes compared to December 2020. Cumulatively for the year, auction and wholesale activity was also smaller in 2021 relative to 2020, with auction sales coming in 36% lower and wholesale deals lagging by 31%.”

He added, “Looking ahead, our assumption is that the US will make some progress on the supply-chain front, leading to continued freight growth, albeit at a lower rate than we saw in 2021.” Tam concluded, “As a result, our new Class 8 truck sales forecast expects to see US sales improve, and by extension, used truck sales volumes should also improve, with used truck prices starting on a sequential decline path, but remaining higher year-over-year through most, if not all, of the first half of 2022. Key to this projection is the rate at which freight hauling capacity rebalances.”

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

ACT’s 66th Seminar is scheduled for February 22–24, 2022. Focused on the continuous evolution and advancement of autonomous and powertrain technologies in the transportation and commercial vehicle markets, OUTLOOK Seminar 66 will feature key industry leaders from Ford, Transplace, TuSimple, and the EPA, with more being added to the agenda. February’s event features three panels (US Economics, Trucker & Transportation, and Autonomous Ecosystem), as well as a fireside chat with the EPA, discussions about fleet decarbonization, electric vehicle forecasts, and reviews of freight/transportation, Class 8, Classes 5–7, the US used truck and new US trailer markets. For information about OUTLOOK Seminar 66, click here.

ACT’s commercial electric vehicle study, Charging Forward: 2020–2024 BEV & FCEV Forecast & Analysis, was published on March 31, 2021, after months of extensive research. Utilizing industry expertise and analysis, as well as the input from a comprehensive list of key industry study participants, ACT Research has developed a critical guide for battery electric and fuel cell electric unit build and sales forecasts over the next two decades. With coverage of Classes 4–8 commercial vehicles, ACT has identified 14 market subsegments and more than 20 application types; this one-of-a-kind report is a must-have for those investing or investigating electric power opportunities. To learn more or to purchase this report, click here.

Click here for more information about ACT’s US Used Classes 3–8 Truck Report.

To learn more about other publications offered by ACT Research, click here.



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

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ACT Research Co.

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