As part of our periodic internal review of option and spec pricing, we recently looked at CY2013 average retail pricing for aerodynamic models broken down by engine and transmission. We limited engine to the larger proprietary and vendor offerings, which basically means the C13, ISM, MP7, and D11 were excluded.

Starting with the 2011 model year – which we considered 3 years old in 2013 – we see that the Volvo 780 returned the highest pricing, with D16/iShift trucks taking the top spot and ISX/manual trucks closely behind. Keep in mind, however, that a D16-equipped truck is almost always spec’ed to owner-operator level, which we did not control for in this study. The more common D13-equipped trucks fell in with the majority of the group, suggesting that the marketplace prefers higher power levels in Volvo’s largest sleeper model. It is also apparent that the marketplace prefers a manual transmission with the D13, which would make sense in this owner-operator-focused truck.

Somewhat surprising was the impressive performance of trucks with proprietary engines. Freightliner’s Detroit/DD engines have maintained one of the better reputations throughout the recent rounds of emissions standards, and Cascadias so equipped – especially with an automated transmission – bring strong money. As for PACCAR models, 2 out of 3 performed better with MX engines than their ISX counterparts. MX-equipped T700’s and 386’s outperformed their ISX siblings, while the T660 performed better with an ISX – but only by $683 (or 0.9%). The Mack CX with MP8 returned surprisingly high pricing, showing that a sleeper Mack can perform well when competitively spec’ed.

Another item of interest is high pricing for automated transmissions. Aside from the low-volume 780/D16, the more common Cascadia/DD15 and 670/D13 both performed better with automateds. This result is probably due mainly to an ample supply of manuals, but marketplace demand for late-model trucks with automateds is a relevant factor.

Stay tuned for a look at older model years.