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December 10, 2020 3:30 PM, EST

SelecTrucks Prepares for Wave of Cascadia Models to Reach Used Market

Freightliner on the sales lot at SelecTrucksA Freightliner on the sales lot at a SelecTrucks dealership. Among the next wave of pre-owned trucks coming soon to lots will be DTNA’s Freightliner Cascadia models from 2018 and 2019. (Daimler Trucks North America)

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The used Class 8 sleeper market is showing signs of a rebound as inventory levels off, price weakness that stretches back to last year stabilizes, and buyers seek out cost-effective ways to add equipment amid strong freight demand and very healthy rates, said Mary Aufdemberg, president of Daimler Trucks Remarketing.

“The used truck market is like an industry within an industry,” Aufdemberg said during a video roundtable Dec. 9. “Like new truck buyers, used truck buyers absolutely keep the world moving.”

Among the next wave of pre-owned trucks coming soon to lots will be DTNA’s Freightliner Cascadia models from 2018 and 2019.

Mary Aufdemberg, president of Daimler Trucks Remarketing

Aufdemberg

“Next year, model year 2018 Cascadias will be 4-year-old trucks, so they are starting to come into the marketplace in calendar year 2021,” she said. “We had about a 33% build rate of new Cascadias out of all Cascadias for that model year 2018.” That year, the company built both its then-updated model and the outgoing model.

For model year 2019, the new Cascadia was at almost a 75% build rate, Aufdemberg said. “That’s a 3-year old truck, so we won’t see quite as many of those coming back next year, but we will see some,” she said.

Freightliner is the consistent leader in Class 8 U.S. retail sales, according to WardsAuto.com. In 2018, Wards reported Freightliner posted full-year sales of 90,864 trucks in the U.S. market. In 2019, that jumped to 100,914.

DTNA resells primarily Freightliner trucks through its SelecTrucks centers, some of which are corporate-owned and others licensed through dealers. The network expanded to 30 locations from 26 in 2020, Aufdemberg said, with more expansion anticipated in 2021.

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Aufdemberg, a DTNA veteran, has led the remarketing program since August 2019.

DTNA’s large-fleet Freightliner customers typically are on a three- to five-year trade cycle, she said.

The new Cascadia heading for the used truck market, she said, is not just a hood change.

“We will still have a lot of [older] classic Cascadias in the marketplace,” Aufdemberg said, “but customers wanting the newer versions can expect to find a very automotive-style dash, a new steering wheel, a smoother ride, easier maintenance, an integrated powertrain and improved fuel efficiency.”

At the same time, with the pre-owned versions of the new Cascadia, buyers get an upgrade to the radar-based Detroit Assurance 4.0 — with adaptive cruise control and active brake assist.

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In this special two-part year in review, we look at the technology and regulatory developments that will help you and your business in 2021. Transport Topics Reporter Eleanor Lamb and Managing Editor for Features Seth Clevenger discuss HOS, software, equipment and more. Hear a snippet, above, and get the full program by going to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.

“We absolutely believe customers want to buy their truck from a trusted adviser who understands the technology that is put into the truck, especially the new Cascadia,” she said.

Resellers must pay attention to the transition to Detroit Assurance 4.0 from the 2.0 version, she said, “making sure people understand which model year they are getting into.”

The DTNA Smart Source app can help. Among other features, it includes a library of vehicle identification number-based training videos, which allow users to enter the last six numbers of their VIN directly into the app to access product training relevant to their specific truck.

Corporate-owned SelecTrucks centers sold more trucks in 2020 compared with 2019, Aufdemberg said.

She expects in 2021 “pricing will continue to firm up a little bit, and it will be a good year from a demand perspective, at least in the first half of the year, going forward.”

That means small fleets, leasing companies that specialize in used trucks, owner-operators and package delivery contractors will come looking, she said, as those segments are typical buyers of used heavy-duty trucks.

“Where we love to see success from our customers,” Aufdemberg said, “is when we can help an owner-operator grow into a small fleet. We take a lot of pride in nurturing that type of business.”

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