Last month, we stated that January’s results for our 4-7 year-old benchmark average were an anomaly due to extremely low volume driven by extreme weather. We now know that February’s volume was also unusually low (the lowest in at least 5 years), so we’re now looking at additional market factors. 

One factor is our revised definition of “4-7 year-old.” As of January 2014, our definition includes the 2008-2011 model years in place of the 2007-2010 model years. Since 2008-2011 were low-build model years due to the recession, it is logical that there will be a lower number of trucks included if 2007 is removed. This factor would explain why there was a major volume drop in 2014 but not in previous years.

As background, the Class 6 segment is highly exposed to the state and municipal fleet sector. These entities were generally under budget austerity during the recession, which means they kept their fleets in service longer than normal. In some cases, they skipped the 2008-2011 model years entirely. This is one factor behind the low number of trucks newer than 2007 cycling through the market. 

Looking at price and mileage, Class 6’s returned $21,988 in February - $1485 (or 6.3%) lower than January, and $4999 (or 22.7%) higher than February 2013. February’s mileage was 180,982 – 57,960 (or 32.0%) higher than January, and 4472 (or 2.5%) higher than last February. As we mentioned, due to the extremely low volume of data, we expect to see higher than normal monthly fluctuations in these measures. This is why we are using a 3-month moving average in the graph.