To follow up on my last post, below are four graphs that trace retail selling prices for 2008 model year aerodynamic sleeper tractors. Results reflect all retail sales we collected in calendar year 2011. The data set includes the same trucks as last time, except now we have added engine as a variable.

A few points jump out. First, Volvo’s proprietary D13 and D16 engines held up well against the ISX in most applications. Starting at the top, the 780/D16 brought $1374 more than the 780/ISX. Similarly, the 670/D13 brought $1424 more than the 670/ISX. The 630/D13 was a bit closer to the 630/ISX, carrying a $477 premium. The exception to this rule was the 730, which brought $2438 more when equipped with an ISX.

One important variable with Volvos is the transmission. Volvo’s iShift automated manual generally commands a premium. That transmission is mated only to Volvo engines. Since we have not adjusted for transmission in this data set, that factor may be skewing results. A future study will look more closely at that variable.

The other make with proprietary engines is Freightliner. That OEM’s Series 60 outperformed their MBE4000 engine in all applications. Cascadias equipped with a Series 60 brought a whopping $8775 more than those equipped with an MBE4000. Columbias with a Series 60 brought $2894 more than their MBE4000 counterparts. Surprisingly, there was a $7320 gap between Series 60 and C-15 spec’ed Columbias. Horsepower level is one of the factors here – Series 60 Columbias averaged 488HP, while C-15 Columbias averaged 448HP. Controlling for horsepower would likely bring these results closer.

In PACCAR models, the Cummins vs. Caterpillar story was mixed. 386’s equipped with an ISX brought $6855 more than their C-15 counterparts. However, the opposite was true for T660’s, with ISX-equipped trucks bringing $753 less than C-15 T660’s. Average horsepower rating for all four of these trucks was similar, so there are other factors at work here. More investigation is necessary.
The other main variable is 2007/8 emissions compliance. 2008 model year trucks were equipped with both pre- and post-2007 emissions engines. We are developing a methodology to investigate this variable and will report back. As of now, that factor is likely influencing these results to an extent.

There are other conclusions to draw from this data, some of which you will see reflected in ATD/NADA Official Commercial Truck Guide valuations going forward. Stay tuned.