Chris Visser's Articles

Industrial Production and You

Since the end of 2009, the trucking industry recovery has been driven primarily by industrial production. What exactly does this mean? It means that the popular concept of what drives the trucking industry – consumers purchasing goods – is only part of the story. Industrial production refers to the output of America’s manufacturing base. Specifically, we’re talking mainly about raw materials (steel, mining, lumber), components and finished assemblies (including machinery and vehicles), the telecom industry, and the food processing industry. As such, manufacturing’s “customers” are a few steps removed from end consumers. Basically, an increase in industrial production today means planners see more need for their products tomorrow, which means trucking (and rail and sea and air) will have more freight to move. This is one reason why short-term swings in consumer spending don’t correlate directly to swings in freight volumes. And it’s why the recovery hasn’t depended solely on trucking’s traditional role of tr ...

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1Q 2011 was a Record Breaker for Selling Prices

The average, mileage-corrected retail selling price of four-year-old (2008MY) sleeper tractors from January-March of 2011 was $65,675. Last year’s same period result was $47,873. This is almost a 40% increase.

Not only that, but the sleeper market overall is finally beating the CY2008 average.


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Commercial Truck May Guidelines

The average selling price for 4YO trucks is 40% higher than 1Q 2010. The volume of dealer sales is up 25% over February. NADA's used truck price forecast remains high despite shifting market factors. To read read more on the Commercial Truck May Guidelines, download here.

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Used Truck Market Predictions

With the second quarter half over, it’s a good time to review the factors that will influence the used truck market going forward. A “+” indicates a factor that supports higher used truck prices, and a “-“ indicates a factor that supports lower prices. (+) Many buyers still prefer used trucks over new due to the higher price and new (to North America) technology of “2010 emissions” trucks. (+) Model years 2008-2011 were built in historically low numbers, which means there will always be comparatively few of these trucks available in the secondary market. (+) The 2007 model year is in high demand since it is the last of the “pre-2007 emissions” models available. (+) Some fleets are selling their used trucks direct to customers, keeping these units out of the traditional secondary market. (+) Most fleets are on trade-in schedules of 3-6 years. This means we won’t see higher-volume 2012MY trucks in the used market until 2014 at the earliest. (+) A new round of emissi ...

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Have Used Truck Inventories Started to Rise?

It looks like March will be a strong month for retail used truck sales volume. Sales reports from individual dealers (excluding OEM’s and large national chains) currently reflect a 22% increase in number of used trucks sold compared to February.

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Clearing up Misconceptions of the Valuation Process

Steve “Bear” Nadolson recently reacted to used truck valuations in the March/April edition of Premium Insights. While Bear was speaking in general terms, I would like to clarify two concepts as they pertain specifically to the ATD/NADA Official Commercial Truck Guide®. The first is the lag time between finalization of values and publication in the guide. The second is how companies use our published values.

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Commercial Truck April Guidelines

The average mileage, age, and selling price of sleeper tractors retailed and wholesaled in February continued to climb upwards in unison. Dealers retailed a slightly higher number of used trucks in this period, with wholesale sales decreasing by a comparable amount.

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