Final July data shows an uptick in retail sleeper tractor pricing on average. This result was somewhat unexpected given the flat results earlier in the year combined with mixed economic data. Sales volume at the individual rooftop level remains steady at a level slightly below average.

What are the fundamentals behind these trends? The moderately low volume reported by dealerships is likely a supply issue. There remains a lack of low- to average-mileage trucks available to sell. At the same time, there are valid demand factors likely playing a role as well. The mild contraction in the manufacturing sector combined with extremely conservative investment strategies is likely impacting sales volume.

What cuts through all this gray area is the fact that the market continues to display a strong appetite for trucks with under 600,000 miles. This indicates that the demand side is the lesser of the factors.

Stay tuned for a more complete analysis in the September edition of GuideLines, available early next week.