From the monthly archives: July, 2013

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Wholesale Sleeper Pricing Dips

To follow up on June’s retail pricing analysis, here’s what happened in the wholesale market. Sales results submitted to NADA from dealers and auctions show that the average wholesale price of a sleeper tractor sold in June was $24,751 – a $3678 (or 12.9%) decrease month-over-month, and a $1411 (or 5.4%) decrease year-over-year. That average truck had 684,699 miles – nearly identical to last month with a decrease of only 721 ( or 0.1%), and a 7005 ( or 1.0%) decrease year-over-year. Age was two months older month-over-month, and a notable 11 months newer year-over-year. See graph below for detail. There are no standout reasons for the decrease in pricing. An increase in the number of trucks sold in the 600-699K and 900-999K mileage ranges was partly responsible, but in general, it appears that lower prices were paid for trucks across the board.   Since the auction market provides a hint at what dealers think they might need in the short term, an increase in volume combined with a drop in pricing pro ...

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Wholesale Volume Recovers

As mentioned in the July edition of Guidelines, the volume of trucks reported sold wholesale (auction plus dealer-to-dealer) dropped notably from April to May. June recovered about half of that volume, lending credence to our working theory that May’s drop (along with June’s drop in retail volume) represented a typical one-month late spring/early summer slowdown. See graph below for detail.

Specifically, auctions and dealers reported 3415 trucks sold wholesale in June, a 373 (or 10.9%) increase month-over-month, and a 576 (or 16.9%) increase year-over-year. The increase in volume appears to be across-the-board, similar to May’s decrease.

Pricing, however, turned negative in June. Stay tuned for details.

Sleeper Pricing Up Despite Drop in Volume

Retail sales data submitted by dealers and OEM’s to NADA shows that pricing in the sleeper market set a new record for an incredible fourth month in a row. This high pricing came despite a dramatic drop in volume of trucks sold. See graph below for details. Specifically, the average sleeper tractor retailed in June brought $52,673 – a $1027 (or 1.9%) increase month-over-month, and a $3484 (or 6.6%) year-over-year. That average tractor had 566,492 miles – 32,569 (or 5.7%) more month-over-month, and 19,388 (or 3.4%) more year-over-year. Age was unchanged from last month, at 75 months. This figure is one month older than June, 2012. As we noted, sales volume dropped dramatically in June, which makes the high pricing somewhat surprising. Diving into the data, we see that the drop in volume hit all model years save for 2010, which showed a modest increase month-over-month. As we regularly mention, the 2009-2011 model years have been entering the marketplace in greater numbers. These late-model trucks generally ...

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June Was a Dismal Month for Retail Sales Volume

As predicted, retail sales per reporting dealership were down substantially in June from recent figures. In fact, we need to go back to the very early stages of the trucking recovery – specifically, January of 2010 – to find a lower figure. Dealers turned in 4.6 retail sales per rooftop in June, which is a decrease of 1.9 trucks – or 29.2% - vs. May.  This decrease is notable, but keep in mind the market has paused one month in the late spring each of the past three years. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, May was an unusually slow month, showing a steep drop vs. April only to recover in June. Specifically, May, 2010 showed a 17.6% drop, May, 2011 showed a 21.7% drop, and May, 2012 showed a 22.7% drop. See graph for detail.     It is possible that this late spring “pause” is a natural market condition, with truck users digesting business results of the first half of the year and focusing on moving freight in the summer months. 2013 would then be unusual only in that the slow month occurred one mon ...

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July Commercial Truck Guidelines is Available for Download!

For the third month in a row, increased numbers of newer sleeper tractors entered the marketplace, pushing the overall value of the retail sector to a new record. On the wholesale side, trucks sold had lower mileage on average, maintaining the overall average at an elevated level. Retail sales volume per dealership ticked slightly upwards in May, while wholesale volume decreased notably. Our view of pricing for trucks with under 600,000 miles remains long and strong. To read on, download the latest edition of Commercial Truck Guidelines today! 

Retail Volume Likely Decreased Notably in June

With just over 50% of our June retail data collected from dealers, we are predicting a major drop in volume of trucks sold. After 5 months of stability at a relatively healthy level, June sales per rooftop will likely come in at under 5 – a drop of around 25% vs. last month.

We have not yet analyzed June’s pricing, mileage, or age data, so we don’t yet know whether those fundamentals changed appreciably. Keep in mind that late spring/early summer has generally been a slow period for volume historically, so this development may be a natural market process.

We’ll have a more solid analysis of June’s metrics later in the month. Stay tuned.

Make and Model Competitive Comparison

The graphs below illustrate average retail selling price by model for 3-6 year-old aerodynamic sleeper tractors, adjusted for age and mileage. Results are split into 3 graphs for ease of reading.

Positioning is similar to last month. Most models were generally flat from April to May, with the exception of the 386 and T660, which continue to pull away from the pack; and the Columbia and Century Class, which headed downward.

Stay tuned for more detailed analysis in the July edition of Guidelines, available early next week.