Commercial Truck Blog

Medium Duty Market was Mixed in April

At the auctions we track, volume was down across the board, and pricing was mixed.

Starting with Class 3 – 4 cabovers, a newer mix of trucks combined with a small sample size pushed our average much higher than last month. April’s average for our benchmark group was $15,144, $4,506 (42.4%) higher than March, and $486 (3.3%) higher than April 2019. The first 4 months of 2020 are averaging 23.0% lower than the same period of 2019. April’s outlier result pushed our monthly depreciation average into the appreciation zone. We do not consider this result representative of the market, so we will revisit this figure next month.

Looking at Class 4 conventionals, average pricing for our benchmark group was $20,263, $1,318 (7.0%) higher than March, and $2,484 (14.0%) higher than April 2019. The first 4 months of 2020 are averaging 3.8% higher than the same period of 2019. Depreciation is averaging 4.7% per month this year.

Class 6 conventional pricing averaged $19,045 in April, $2,527 (11.7%) lower than March, and $7,436 (28.1%) lower than April 2019. The first 4 months of 2020 are averaging 16.4% lower than the same period of 2019. Depreciation is averaging 4.0% per month this year.

Since April was the first month in which sales occurred entirely within the economic shutdown, we were very curious to see how pricing and volume would turn out. We were somewhat encouraged by pricing data, particularly for light-GVW conventionals, suggesting there’s still demand among the contractors, shippers, small business owners, and other segments that buy trucks in this category. On the other hand, volume for all GVW classes was somewhat disappointing, suggesting a broader pullback in demand for the medium duty segment overall. We had predicted medium duty trucks to weather this storm fairly well, since local deliveries and construction activity have not been curtailed appreciably. With that in mind, we’ll see if volume improves next month. As the country gradually opens back up, there’s more positive than negative pressure in the marketplace.