Used Class 8 Retail Average Price in December Sets Record
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The average retail price for a used Class 8 vehicle in December forged ahead to another monthly record as it cleared $82,000. That was 66% higher compared with a year earlier, ACT Research reported.
The price hit a $82,352 in the last month of 2021 compared with $49,634 a year earlier — and increased from $80,926 in November, the previous record, according to ACT.
Estimated vehicles sold in December reached 22,800 compared with 21,500 in the 2020 period and 21,700 in November.
Clearly, with the volume number’s uptick, the demand is there.
ACT Vice President Steve Tam
“Clearly, with the volume number’s uptick, the demand is there,” ACT Vice President Steve Tam said. “It has just been kind of held at bay by a lack of salable units.”
Year-to-date used truck sales rose to 265,000 compared with 250,000 a year earlier, he said.
One used truck manager at a dealership said with this market if customers don’t accept the deal they have in front of them, it may not be there when they call or come back to the dealership.
“Trucks are moving as fast as you can find them and get them ready,” said Timothy Berkley, used truck manager at Baltimore Truck Center in Hagerstown, Md. The company has five locations.
Inventory remains the issue.
“We are still working with our customers and purchasing any trucks they need to move,” he said. “They are now calling us and letting me know that they have another truck available. I have one customer who has told me he will have at least four more trucks this year.”
As for buyers and the prices they pay?
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“I think they have just accepted that to purchase a truck that is what they are going to pay in this market,” Berkley said. “They have realized that the inventory is low.”
A fleet executive said he was running his trucks longer and spending more on them as he was waiting for new trucks he ordered to go into production.
“We are seeing maintenance-related costs go up,” Pete Nativo, vice president of fleet solutions at Oakley Transport, told Transport Topics. “To buy an air filter, to give you a round number was, say, $50. Now we are paying $60 for the same air filter, and we are running the trucks longer because I’m not getting new trucks.”
Lake Wales, Fla.-based Oakley is a bulk carrier that specializes in liquid and food-grade transportation. It operates about 725 trucks, all Volvos.
“This year, I can’t get rid of anything,” he said, “until I get something new in here.”
Nick Hobbs, chief operating officer at J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., said during the company’s latest earnings call: “We are waiting on some trailing equipment to stock some stuff. But we’re holding trades and doing various other things on the power side.”
A truck maker executive noted its financial services unit benefited from this market’s strong pricing matched by demand for equipment.
Paccar Financial, a unit of Paccar Inc., increased sales volume in its retail used truck centers, which contributed to “higher used truck price realization,” Paccar Chief Financial Officer Harrie Schippers said during a recent earnings call. “We expect [the segment’s] strong performance to continue this year.”
ACT reported the average miles rose to 430,000 compared with 414,00 in the 2020 period.
The average age was 6 years, 8 months compared with 6 years, 2 months a year earlier.
Each month, ACT provides an industry estimate based on its survey of a sample of dealers, wholesalers and auctioneers as well as a few large fleets to determine average price, age and mileage, and estimated used Class 8 sales volumes.