Sleeper sales growing

Jason Cannon

July 17, 2013

According to the ATD/NADA Official Commercial Truck Guide Update released Monday, the retail sleeper market set another record in May.

For the third month in a row, increased numbers of newer used sleeper tractors entered the marketplace, pushing the overall value of the retail sector to a new record.

Sleeper sales are up 0.5 percent month-over-month and 6.8 percent year-over-year.

Retail sales data submitted by dealers and OEMs to NADA shows the average price paid for a sleeper tractor in May was $51,646. This is the third month in a row to set a 5-plus year record high.

According to NADA, the main factor behind strong pricing is the continued influx of newer, lower-mileage tractors into the

May’s auction and dealer-to-dealer data depicted a second month of newer, lower-mileage trucks cycling through those channels, the report says.

“Pricing was mildly lower than April’s, but still up more than 15 percent from recent lows. Average mileage remains down substantially from its March peak.”

The average sleeper tractor in the wholesale market in May sold for $28,468, had mileage of 683,775, and was 83
months old. On the retail side, mileage was 533,293 with an average age of 75.

As for the brands, the Kenworth T660 and Peterbilt 386, are pulling away from the pack, while the report says Freightliner Columbia and Century Class have done the opposite.

“…these Freightliner models suffer a bit in the results due to the inclusion of MBE-4000-powered models in the dataset,” the report says. “Eliminating trucks so equipped would bump up their averages. Keep in mind NADA values place these models more competitively than what is represented in these graphs, since we allow for engine adds and deducts.”

May’s retail sales per rooftop were up 0.2 trucks from April, coming in at 6.5. On the wholesale side, May saw a notable and unexpected dip in the number of trucks, the reported said.

“Based on the decreasing number of 2007 and older model year trucks in the retail and wholesale channels, the market may finally be seeing the last of the trucks that were kept in service longer than typical during the recession,” according to the report. “Combined with the low build rate of recent model years – particularly 2010 and 2011 – the foundation is in place for continued strength in the under-600,000 mile segment.”

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