Used commercial vehicle registrations during the first nine months of the 2013 calendar year were up just under eight percent over the same period last year, according to Polk, the global automotive market intelligence firm recently acquired by IHS. In contrast, new commercial vehicle registrations during the first nine months of 2013 increased by just 2.8%.
Nearly 527,500 used commercial registrations were recorded during the January-September timeframe, which represented the second best nine-month level of used transactions since Polk started tracking used transactions in the 2004 calendar year, and trailing only the record nine-month total of 649,950 transactions reported during the first nine months of the 2011 calendar year. Strong demand continues for clean used equipment to replace older equipment.
"The continued strength of used commercial vehicle transactions during the first three quarters of the calendar year reflects a competitive market for clean used equipment as it becomes available," says Gary Meteer, director, aftermarket and commercial vehicle solutions at Polk. "Our analysis indicates the total commercial vehicle population remains relatively flat, and the high demand for clean used equipment is for the replacement of significantly older (pre-2000 Model Year) equipment. During the past four calendar years, when there has been strong demand for clean used equipment and slower demand for new equipment, more than 1.5 million pre-2000 models have been eliminated from the vehicle population and replaced with newer used equipment.”
The demand for used commercial vehicles during the most recent quarter reflects strong demand across each of the vehicle segments. Used Class 8 transactions continue to reflect performance lower than historical levels as a result of the continued shortage of clean used equipment resulting from the extremely low level of new Class 8 registrations during the 2008-2010 calendar years.
While new commercial vehicle registrations during the July-June 2013 period were basically flat, the demand for used equipment continued strong and outperformed new registrations, as used transactions accounted for 53.0% of total commercial vehicle transactions during the July-September quarter. From a historic perspective, prior to the 2009 calendar year, used transactions accounted for between 41% and 48% of total registrations during the 2004 through 2008 calendar years, so while the 53.0% level is down from 68% in the first two quarters of the 2011 calendar year, used transactions as a percent of total commercial transactions remain significantly above historical levels.