The demand for clean used equipment to replace older commercial vehicles remains strong, while medium-duty trucks – paced by Ford – have shown the most improvement among new commercial vehicles transactions, according to Polk, the global automotive market intelligence firm.
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, as reported in the market analysis by Polk. 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. The result trails only the record nine-month total of 649,950 transactions reported during the first nine months of the 2011 calendar year.
New commercial vehicle registrations during the first nine months of 2013 increased by just 2.8 percent over the same time period in 2012.
“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, he adds.
The demand for used commercial vehicles during the most recent quarter reflects strong demand across each of the vehicle segments, the report notes.
While new commercial vehicle registrations during the July-June period were basically flat, the largest year-over-year improvement in new registrations was in Class 5 vehicles, up 11.5 percent from the first nine months of the 2012 calendar year. The leader in this segment is Ford with a 71.4 percent share (a 20.8 percent new registrations increase) followed by Dodge with a 12.1 percent share on a slip of 3.8 percent. New registrations of Class 5 vehicles are at record levels when compared to the level achieved during the 2006 calendar year, according to Polk data.
New registrations of Class 3 vehicles were up 10.4 percent for the period, with Ford again the segment leader with a 44.2 share. The Ford share has seen a slight decline as a result of double digit year-over-year increases by Mercedes-Benz (46 percent), Isuzu (40.4 percent) and Chevrolet (21.2 percent).
Class 3 vehicles are highly influenced by the incentives provided to retail customers, the report notes. During the first nine months of the 2013 calendar year, 50.1 percent of Class 3 new registrations were registered by an individual versus a company.
As the demand for used equipment continued strong and outperformed new registrations, used transactions accounted for 53 percent 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 percent of total registrations during the 2004 through 2008 calendar years. While the 53 percent level is down from 68 percent in the first two quarters of the 2011 calendar year, used transactions as a percent of total commercial transactions remain significantly above historical levels, Polk says.