Our initial estimates of March’s auction activity matched up fairly well on average, with some changes on a year-by-year and model-by-model basis. Volume of our benchmark model was up substantially, for the highest month since last March. However, the volume of all aerodynamic sleeper tractors was low compared to recent months. Pricing of our benchmark model was 2.2% lower month-over-month, which is slightly higher than our 1.5%-2.0% rule of thumb for 2017. Overall, March was essentially a status-quo month.
March auction performance of our benchmark model was as follows:
MY2013: $31,443 average; $2,648 (or 7.8%) lower than February
MY2012: $26,522 average; $2,917 (or 12.4%) higher than February
MY2011: $24,133 average; $2,101 (or 8.0%) lower than February
Unlike the retail channel, low volume is not necessarily a bad thing in the auction channel, since it suggests a lower volume of trucks returning off trade (assuming a low no-sale percentage). Volume has been the primary factor behind depreciation since mid-2015, so low volume should support more solid pricing. At the same time, we know the returning supply will be substantial through 2019, so any volume-based pricing solidity will be on a month-by-month basis.
See graphs below for detail.