In contrast to the retail used truck market
, the wholesale channel returned notably higher sales volume in September. Sleeper tractor pricing also moved upwards. Specific age and mileage cohorts are showing positive movement, allowing for a moderately optimistic outlook.
The average sleeper tractor wholesaled in September brought $32,303, had 654,805 miles, and was 80 months old. Month-over-month, these results are $1415 (or 4.4%) higher on price, 294 (or 0.04%) higher on mileage, and one month newer. Year-over-year, September was $606 (or 1.8%) lower on price, 22,053 (or 3.4%) higher on mileage, and five months newer. Basically, trucks at a given mileage level are selling for moderately more money today than a year ago. See graph below for detail.
Looking more closely at specific age and mileage groups, trucks with less than 600,000 miles have generally been increasing in value since the second quarter of this year. In terms of age, five-year-old and newer trucks have absorbed the bulk of their depreciation, and in the case of 2009’s, have actually gained value since the first quarter. These two trends compliment similar movement in the retail channel, although trucks sold retail have been exhibiting this behavior for a longer period of time.
Another encouraging factor in the wholesale channel is volume. Whereas retail volume dropped substantially in September, wholesale volume increased notably (see graph below). NADA received 3974 wholesale datapoints in September, compared to 3229 in August and 2636 a year ago. Trucks in almost every age and mileage range were up in September.
Given these results, we remain optimistic about the used truck market overall. Due to the higher-mileage mix of trucks sold wholesale, the sticker shock that may be limiting volume on the retail side does not apply. In any case, we do not forecast a sustained depression in sales volume in either side of the market, and our outlook for used truck pricing remains long & strong.