ACT Research: Used Class 8 Truck Sales Retreated in February, 8% Lower M/M

ACT Research Co.
4 min readMar 29, 2023

According to the latest State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3–8 Used Trucks, published by ACT Research, used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) were 8% lower m/m in February. Average mileage was unchanged, with average price and age both down, 4%, and 2%, respectively. Longer term, average price, age and volumes were lower, with miles higher y/y.

ACT’s Used Class 8 Retail Summar — February (F) 2023
ACT’s Used Class 8 Retail Summar — February (F) 2023

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.

“Following two months of gains, same dealer Class 8 retail truck sales retreated into negative territory in February, down 8% from January,” said Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research. He continued, “Sales typically see a moderate decrease (≈4%) in February, so the drop was directionally consistent with seasonality, though a bit steeper than expected. It is no secret that ‘normal’ has been anything but in this cycle, so given the relatively small variance, it is tough to get too excited.”

He added, “Looking ahead to what we can expect for March, history suggests sales typically increase 15–20% from February. While inventory has ticked up and new truck activity could support that much of an increase in used truck sales, the economy and freight are still on the soft side. The challenge is figuring out how much pent-up demand exists in the used truck market.”

Tam concluded, “Concerns remain regarding how owner/operators and small fleets will fair in 2023, particularly as freight rates fall and operating costs rise. While the economy may avoid a recession, inflation remains a very real concern. And all of this says nothing about what fleets’ equity position in their equipment looks like. Those that bought at the top of the market are likely underwater or headed there. With that in mind, we expect, the market to fall as much as 10%.”

ACT Research: State of the Industry: U.S. Used Truck Classes 3–8

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 next seminar, Market Vitals: The Current & Future Health of the Industry, is scheduled for August 22–24, 2023. Look for more details over the coming months and save the date for August’s event. When details are available, they may be found HERE.

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Click below to access:
More information about ACT’s Used Truck reports.
Information about other ACT Research products and services.
February’s State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3–8 Used Trucks Preliminary press release.
January’s State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3–8 Used Trucks press release.
ACT’s In the News page.

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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.