In the first quarter of this year, the retail market for 3-5 year-old aerodynamic sleepers was down $1,300 (or 1.7%) on average compared to the same period last year. However, the decrease was driven almost entirely by one model. Excluding that model, year-over-year results are nearly identical. The fact that pricing is so similar this year despite increased supply is evidence of continued strong demand for late-model iron. See graph below for detail.

The Volvo 730/780 was the clear standout in the most recent quarter. Spec level of the Volvos was similar to other models, so the strong performance appears to be a natural market preference. Unlike certain other makes, Volvo’s proprietary engine performs on par with the Cummins ISX. This factor is a main contributor to the make’s positive results.

Freightliner is the other make with a proprietary engine (Detroit) that performs well in the marketplace. The Cascadia performed best in the 2011 model year, with 2012’s and 2013’s running closer to mid-pack.

Other makes and models turned in similar results. Stay tuned early next month for a more in-depth look at competitive performance in the May edition of Guidelines.