Wholesale pricing is up year-over-year for our benchmark 4-7 year-old Class 4 and 6 conventionals. Class 4’s are looking stronger than Class 6’s due to healthier sales volume, but both segments have improved over 2013.

Looking specifically at Class 4, monthly volume is similar to last year, at an average of 42 sold in 2014 to date vs. 45 for the same period last year (excluding one major outlier month last year). September’s wholesale pricing for our benchmark cohort was $15,747 – a $2,625 (or 20.0%) increase over August, and a $3,707 (or 27.0%) increase over September, 2013. Mileage averaged 118,932 – an 8,305 (or 6.5%) decrease over last month, and an 11,009 (or 10.2%) increase over September, 2013.

With mileage and sales volume stable over the past two years, positive pricing performance appears to be organically driven. Contractors, landscapers, and light haulers have gradually been finding more work.

As for Class 6, that segment continues to struggle through a recovery. Pricing comparisons are positive, but volume in 2014 to date is notably lower.

Specifically, the average 4-7 year-old Class 6 conventional sold wholesale in September for $19,362 – a $1,258 (or 6.9%) increase over August, and a $4,855 (or 33.5%) increase over September, 2013. In terms of mileage, September came in at 173,532 – a 2,501 (or 1.5%) increase over last month, and a 3,562 (or 2.0%) decrease over September, 2013. The apparent bubble in pricing earlier this year was due to a block of low-mileage trucks impacting our averages, not any shift in conditions.

If Class 6 volume in 2014 had been comparable to 2013, it would be appropriate to identify a recovery on the level of Class 4. However, with average monthly sales of this cohort averaging just 15 - compared to 43 in 2013 – demand has not clearly increased. The P&D and towing customers purchasing these trucks are paying moderately more money for them, but there are fewer of these buyers. We continue to consider this market in a very gradual recovery. 

Stay tuned for more September analysis next week.