April was the first month in which buying and selling took place entirely under the economic shutdown, so we were very curious to see how volume and pricing would hold up. We were encouraged to see volume was very similar to March, which means seasonal strength returned this year. Pricing was less positive, falling fairly substantially, as expected. But at least trucks are still moving. See below for average pricing detail for our benchmark model.
Model year 2016: $25,000 average; $2,150 (7.9%) lower than March
Model year 2015: $18,000 average; $4,000 (18.2%) lower than March
Model year 2014: $15,725 average; $775 (4.7%) lower than March
Model year 2013: $13,750 average; $775 (6.0%) higher than March
Month-over-month, our benchmark group of 4-6 year-old trucks brought 7.7% less money. In the first 4 months of 2020, pricing averaged 28.6% lower than the same period of 2019. Depreciation averaged 2.2% in the first 4 months of the year.
With the economy very gradually opening back up, we could now be at or near the trough for pricing. Pre-virus, we had been predicting a mild to moderate selldown in used truck inventory due to a reduced volume of trade-ins. This process has now been postponed, and inventory levels won’t change appreciably in the short term. At this point, we see the used truck market operating at the minimum level of activity necessary in the current freight environment. But there’s more positive pressure than negative in the upcoming few months.