Following June’s drastic drop in retail sales per dealership, July rebounded a bit to come in at 5.0. This figure is 0.5 truck higher than June, but a whopping 1.5 trucks lower than a strong July 2014. See graph below for detail.

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July was a strong month in 2014 and 2013, while June was relatively weak in both years. 2015 is therefore following this short-term trend, albeit at a lower level. In the first seven months of this year, dealers sold an average of 35.8 trucks per rooftop. This figure is down 6.3 trucks from same-period 2014, and 6.7 trucks from 2013.

There is no clear reason for decline. General economic measures have gradually trended upward since 2010, and 2015 was incrementally healthier than the previous two years in most respects. Judging by pricing, demand for late-model iron has not let up. There has been some minor depreciation for newer model years, but this price erosion is driven mainly by supply.  We have noted an uptick in export sales in recent months, and there was a steep increase in dealer-to-dealer wholesale sales in July. These two factors could point to a minor nationwide realignment of inventory.

In general, summer months are poor indicators of the relative health of the used truck market. End users are typically focused on moving freight rather than acquiring iron. We will continue to monitor trends and identify changes if they occur. As always, your observations are welcome in the comments section.