Class 8 Retail Market Underperformed in December

By Chris Visser

Late-model trucks lost more value than expected in December. Sales volume of 3 year-old trucks increased notably, while the volume of 4 and 5 year-old trucks was in line with expectations. There were no anomalies in average mileage, spec, or model mix, so depreciation appears to be natural market movement.

The average sleeper tractor retailed in December was 71 months old, had 481,060 miles, and brought $47,311. Compared to November, the average sleeper was 5 months newer, had 4,447 (0.9%) fewer miles, and brought $1,549 (3.4%) more money. Compared to December 2018, this average sleeper was 2 months older, had 21,093 (4.6%) more miles, and brought $9,924 (17.3%) less money.

Looking at trucks two to five years of age, December’s average pricing was as follows:

  • Model year 2018: $92,225; $2,877 (3.0%) lower than November
  • Model year 2017: $71,941; $2,943 (3.9%) lower than November
  • Model year 2016: $56,074; $2,553 (4.4%) lower than November
  • Model year 2015: $42,433; $2,761 (6.1%) lower than November

Year-over-year, late-model trucks sold in calendar year 2019 brought an average of 4.2% more money than in 2018. As we’ve said the past few months, this full-year comparison is misleading since it doesn’t reflect the market shift in the second half of 2019. Narrowing our focus to the last two months of each year, 2019 came in 8.0% behind. Average monthly depreciation was 2.1% per month in 2019, compared to well under 1% in 2018. Pricing remains roughly on par with the last market bottom in 2016.

Dealers retailed an average of 3.4 trucks per rooftop in December, identical to November’s 11-year low. There aren’t a lot of buyers looking for replacement trucks currently.

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