Two weeks ago, we predicted that September’s retail sales per rooftop would come in similar to August’s mediocre result. With 100% of our data collected, we now know that our estimate was low. 

Dealers who submitted sales late in our collection cycle sold proportionally more trucks than those who submitted early. These late reports show that our sales-per-rooftop prediction of 5.4 trucks was low by 0.7, putting September’s actual tally at 6.1. This result is 0.5 truck higher than August, and a full 1.1 trucks higher than last September. 

As we mentioned, we did not assign much significance to August’s moderately weak result, as pricing remained high and there were no external factors pointing to reduced demand. September’s result confirms that August was simply a month in which truckers concentrated more on moving freight than acquiring iron. 

September’s wholesale results, on the other hand, are more notable. That month’s 3.2 trucks per rooftop is a substantial 1.4 trucks higher than August, and 1.2 higher than last September. In fact, this wholesale result is the highest since December of 2010. 

We have noted that the average age of trucks retailed vs. wholesaled is now at parity, with mileage the determining factor. Higher-mileage trucks cycle through the wholesale channel, while lower-mileage trucks go straight to retail. This month, another factor seems to have come on-line – namely, large numbers of 2010-2012 International ProStars. This model was represented in greater numbers than previous months, particularly in the wholesale channel. Large fleet trades combined with more widely accepted pricing for this model are the likely factors behind its increased activity.

Stay tuned later this week for final pricing data.