Class 8 Retail Pricing Held Up in April

By Chris Visser

Retail pricing continues to outperform auction, and that gap has widened. We expected to see pricing fall more notably in April, following the auction channel. This didn’t happen, suggesting the market may have found its bottom.

The average sleeper tractor retailed in April was 61 months old, had 466,621 miles, and brought $42,292. Compared to March, this average sleeper was 8 months newer, had 11,615 (2.6%) more miles, and brought $2,032 (4.6%) less money. Compared to April 2019, this average sleeper was 10 months newer, had 1,658 (0.4%) fewer miles, and brought $14,471 (25.5%) less money.

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

  • Model year 2019: $106,750; $1,309 (1.2%) higher than March
  • Model year 2018: $83,969; $485 (0.6%) higher than March
  • Model year 2017: $57,751; $2,325 (3.9%) lower than March
  • Model year 2016: $44,595; $2,340 (5.5%) higher than March

Month-over-month, late-model trucks brought 0.3% more money. In the first four months of 2020, pricing averaged 12.2% lower than the same period of 2019. Depreciation in 2020 is averaging 2.2% per month, an improvement from last month’s 2.7%, and a better result than we expected.

Dealers retailed an average of 3.4 trucks per rooftop in April, 0.3 truck lower than March, and 0.9 truck lower than last April. Retail purchasing remains limited primarily to replacement demand.

Looking forward, we still see used truck pricing recovering roughly in step with the gradual re-opening of the economy. This means the auction market should see some firming in the summer, followed by mild to moderate increases in the fall and into 2021 (with some pauses here and there, particularly in October and November).

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