In their most recent Commercial Truck Guidelines report, used commercial truck analysts observed more stable Class 8 selling prices in retail, wholesale and auction channels. Seasonal improvements combined with increased demand spurred by lower price levels are the likely factors behind the moderation.
According to NADA Used Car Guide commercial truck analyst Chris Visser, “As in the auction and wholesale lanes, depreciation in the retail channel moderated going into the second quarter. Three to five-year-old sleeper tractors lost about 3 percent of their value from February to March, and we estimate another similar loss from March to April.”
Visser continued, “High-volume 2011 to 2013 model year trucks lost approximately 5 percent of their value from February to March. We also predict a similar drop from March to April. Retail pricing continues to decrease, and perhaps as a result, buyers are entering the market in incrementally greater numbers.”
When focused on retail sales volume, the report notes there was an incremental increase from February to March of 4.8 to 4.9 trucks sold per rooftop, respectively. The first quarter of 2016 trailed Q1 of 2015 by 0.2 truck. Analysts expect minor volume improvements in the upcoming months as better weather and lower prices bolster demand.
Looking forward, the report says the late spring and early summer months should see incremental improvements in demand as lower prices get some buyers off the fence. The domestic economy is generally sound, with most macro measures trending upward. It will be a few months before the uncertainty of a presidential election season impacts business activity.