2019 Class 8 Auction Market Closes Out with High Volume, Lower Pricing

By Chris Visser

There was a notable month-over-month increase in the volume of 4-7 year-old trucks sold at auction in December. Pricing was markedly lower on average. Both measures were more volatile than expected. See below for detail.

  • Model year 2016: $27,051 average; $3,699 (12.0%) lower than November
  • Model year 2015: $23,697 average; $3,246 (12.0%) lower than November
  • Model year 2014: $19,376 average; $1,990 (9.3%) lower than November
  • Model year 2013: $15,954 average; $1,212 (7.1%) lower than November
  • Model year 2012: $13,559 average; $2,391 (15.0%) lower than November
  • Model year 2011: $12,667 average; $3,417 (36.9%) higher than November

In calendar year 2019, our benchmark group of 4-6 year-old trucks brought 14.0% less money than in 2018. If we narrow our comparison to the last two months of each year, the variance increases to 30.8%.

Monthly depreciation for 4-6 year-old trucks averaged 3.5% in 2019. In 2018, there was essentially no depreciation. Pricing for late-model trucks is now roughly 10% lower than the last market bottom in 2016.

December is typically a high-volume month, as fleets and dealers look to remove unused trucks and excess inventory from the books. However, this December’s increase over November was much greater than expected. It’s possible dealers decided to take the loss on aged inventory. It’s also likely there was an incremental impact from the greatly increased number of trucking bankruptcies in 2019. In any case, January is typically a slow month, so perhaps we’ll get a temporary reprieve from depreciation to start 2020.

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