Overdrive Extra

Max Heine

Truck dealers analyze a year’s anemic sales

| November 25, 2009

It still appears to be a buyer’s market for Class 8 trucks, according to a report from the truck dealers’ trade group. It’s been “a year of heavy depreciation for the highway sleeper market,” says the ATD/NADA Official Commercial Truck Guide.

Considering the depressed conditions, prices could have dropped even lower, says Chris Visser, editor of the guide. “Anecdotal evidence suggests that an extremely active export market helped keep the domestic supply of used trucks at a realistic level, which counteracted reduced demand,” he says.

Also in the report:

  • Mileage, not model year, was the determining factor in a used Class 8 truck’s value this year.
  • Trucks with less than 500,000 miles retained a moderately good percentage of their value.
  • Medium-duty trucks lost a substantial portion of their value throughout 2009, and mileage was not as critical a factor as with the Class 8 market.

Given the economy, it’s hard to measure the relative strength of any pre-buy this fall in lieu of the 2010 engines, but no one is forecasting any kind of truck sales increase early in 2010.

— Max Heine

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