ACT: Trailer orders, used truck sales rise

Retail sales of Class 8 trucks rose 31 percent in 2010.Retail sales of Class 8 trucks rose 31 percent in 2010.

Net orders of commercial trailers rose to 22,915 in December, a 7 percent increase over a strong November, ACT Research Co. said.

ACT also reported December factory shipments were up 12 percent from November and 69 percent higher than December 2009.
In the latest release of State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers, ACT noted the surge in net orders has been broad based. Seven of the nine trailer categories reported triple digit year-over-year increases in December, led by a 417 percent gain in the dry van segment, the largest trailer market. For the full year, commercial trailer factory shipments rose 52 percent while net orders increased 105 percent. 
“Comparatively speaking, 2010 was a good year for the commercial trailer industry as factory shipments rebounded by 52 percent,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst with ACT Research. “The good news is that orders have ramped up nicely in the last quarter and set the stage for strong growth in 2011.”

Meanwhile, ACT said unit volume of sales of used Class 8 commercial vehicles increased 21 percent in December from November. ACT reported unit retail channel sales for 2010 were up by 31 percent, followed by a 18 percent gain for the wholesale channel and 6 percent for auctions. The data is based on same dealer sales from ACT’s database of used truck dealer sales. 
“Despite a pick-up in sales volume, constricted supplies of equipment of all sizes was the main headline for 2010 and will continue to garner the spotlight in the coming year,” said Steve Tam, vice president-commercial vehicle sector with ACT. “There should be some increase in the supply of used trucks as new Class 8 sales rebound, but the supply of late-model and low mileage units is expected to stay tight. That will allow used prices to continue to rise.”
ACT Used Truck database participants report approximately 2,500 transactions per month.

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