October sales data shows sales per dealership back up to the 2013 average and retail pricing close to the record, suggesting that September’s drop in volume was not the start of a market shift.

Sales per rooftop came in at 6.2 trucks, 1.2 more than September, 0.3 more than last October, and 0.2 more than the 2013 average. The average retail price paid for a sleeper tractor was nearly identical to September, and less than $1000 away from the record set in August of this year.

Specifically, the average sleeper tractor retailed in October for $53,365. This tractor had 523,109 miles, and was 74 months old. Month-over-month, these figures are $261 (or 0.5%) lower on price, 14,859 (or 2.8%) lower on mileage, and 4 months newer. Year-over-year, these figures are $3999 (or 8.1%) higher on price, 28,664 (or 5.2%) lower on mileage, and 3 months newer. See graph below for detail.

The October market was actually even stronger than these figures would suggest, as the results were depressed a bit by the sale of a large group of identically-spec’ed 2012 International ProStars with MaxxForce power. Removing these trucks from the monthly average would increase that measure by about $600, placing October nearly spot-on the record. 

Looking at sales by model year, October’s results returned to the recent trend after an anomalous September. 2009 and 2010 model year trucks once again sold in greater numbers than 2007’s, with 2009 just edging out 2010 for the top spot. Interestingly, 2011’s really came on line in October, with more than double the number of trucks sold vs. last month. Most 2011’s have been in service for over three years now, which means they’re entering the secondary market in greater numbers. See graph below for detail.

September’s unusual volume behavior suggests that trepidation over the government shutdown may have been a more critical factor than we thought. The “sticker shock” factor we mentioned last month did not appear to be in play this month.