Preliminary Used Class 8 Volumes Contracted M/M and Y/Y in April, but Remained Positive YTD

Preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) contracted 8% month-over-month in 2020’s fourth 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 fell 5% compared to April 2019, but remained 10% above the first four months of last year.

Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for April 2020, which showed that average prices were down 8%, while average miles were flat and average age increased 2% compared to March. Year-to-date, average price, miles, and age were all lower, down 20%, 2%, and 5%, respectively, compared to the first four months of 2019.

Additionally, ACT Research has created an easily accessible COVID-19 MARKET WATCH webpage to track noteworthy high frequency macroeconomic and transportation-specific market indicators, which can be found at https://pages.actresearch.net/covid-19.

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, “Our first reaction to the unit sales data was one of surprise that the market held up as well as it did in April.” He continued, “With the month’s sales being the first to be meaningfully impacted by COVID-19, many expected significant weakness.” Tam concluded, “One possible explanation is that buyers in search of inexpensive trucks helped support sales in the otherwise soft market.”

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. Focused on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the event 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. Both in-person and livestream options are available for those who wish to participate. Click here for seminar information.