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ATD: Mixed New-Truck Climate Not Affecting Used-Truck Pricing

July 26, 2012

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Used-truck pricing stayed high in June, even as new-truck orders fell, according to Chris Visser, senior analyst for American Truck Dealers Official Commercial Truck Guide.


In his Commercial Truck Blog, Visser reports that preliminary data indicates that used-truck pricing remained at a historically high level in June, despite steadily declining new-truck orders.

The ATD/NADA Commercial Truck Guide is predicting a modest increase in the average selling price of a sleeper tractor in June, up about 5% to 7% over May's price of $48,026.

Visser attributes continued strength in the used market to an ongoing shortage of late-model, low-mileage trucks.

"Truck manufacturers can build as many new trucks as the market demands, but they can't alleviate the shortage of late-model used trucks," Visser said.

New truck orders have fallen for the last four out of five months, and are now at a level not seen since immediately before the rebound in late 2010, Visser said. However, new truck sales are still healthy, recovering from a dip early in 2012 to return to a level higher than all of last year save for December. Used truck sales per dealership took a steep dive in May, and preliminary June results indicate a very slight uptick that still leave the results in the "unusually low" category.

All this has not affected used-truck pricing to any noticeable extent, Visser said.

"There is one big reason for the disconnect in new vs. used truck market trends: Supply. The strength in used truck pricing since late 2009 is largely due to the low returning supply of 2008-2011 model year trucks, which has resulted in a shortage of late-model, low-mileage iron. There is no such shortage on the new side."

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