Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) knew 2020 would be a volatile year even before COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the economy after the market enjoyed a boon in 2018-2019. But North America’s leading truck manufacturer is confident that in 2021 the used truck market will level off.
In Q1 of 2020, depreciation reached 8.5% per month on average, versus 1.25 to 1.5. depreciation for an average year.
“Prices are on the rise for used trucks right now,” remarked Mary Aufdemberg, president and general manager of Daimler Trucks Remarketing. “Inventories are decreasing in the marketplace, but we do expect supply to keep coming. [Looking] forward to next year, I think prices will continue to stabilize.”
Used truck prices won’t return to 2018-2019 levels, when trucking enjoyed the boom times as the economy grew and demand increased due to rising capacity.
Aufdemberg projected inventory will return to the lots at SelectTrucks and other Freightliner used truck dealers.
“Ultimately, I think demand will be a little stronger than supply, at least in the first half of the year going forward,” she said.
As the quantity improves, so does the quality, with the model year 2018 Freightliner Cascadia, which DTNA refers to as the “New Cascadia,” hitting the used truck market in 2021. That truck will turn four next year, which means more fleets will trade those in for newer models.
“Not everybody’s going to be able to get their hands on them, but for any of the use truck customers that really like to be a technology leader, the new Cascadia is going to be something they’re going to want to keep their eyes,” Aufdemberg noted.
The MY 2018 features several improvements over the Cascadia Evolution, or Classic Cascadia. At the time of launch, the New Cascadia had an average 8% mpg improvement, and the disparity, depending on efficiency specs, could be as wide as 19%.
The Model Year 2018 Freightliner Cascadia. Photo: DTNA
These are some of the first Freightliner trucks to offer the option of Detroit Assurance 4.0, the suite of safety systems that includes active brake assist, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning.
Other additions included a more comfortable cab experience with a redesigned dash and steering wheel, as well as offering a smoother ride and better access to fuses for quicker maintenance and less downtime. Some of the 2018 stock may also come with the optional murphy bed bunk over the dinette area and 3M Thinsulate insulation, which isolates noise and improves temperature.
DTNA reported a 33% build rate for the MY 2018 Cascadia. Some MY 2019s, which had a 75% build rate, should also become available, but in fewer numbers. “Those will definitely be something that customers will snatch up pretty quickly once they hit the marketplace,” Aufdemberg said.
Aufdemberg also pointed out SelecTrucks opened four new locations in 2020, for a total of 30: Phoenix, Memphis, Chattanooga, and in Manitoba, Canada. The DTNA-owned business provides OEM-backed warranties with no progressive damage, no deductible, and no aggregate limits.