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Commercial Vehicle Registrations Hit Record Levels

A slight revival of new fleet sales creates a used truck bonanza.

by on Sep.01, 2010

In the commercial truck market, the sales have shifted to used vehicles.

There were 354,400 used commercial vehicles registered in the U.S. during the first two quarters of 2010. This is a new record for previously owned commercial vehicle registrations in the period, and up more than 28% during the same, depressed, time last year.

The used trucks – Gross Vehicle Weight classes 3 to 8 – represent almost 68% of the total commercial vehicle market.

“The significant increase in used vehicle registrations so far this year is indicative of an uptick in the industry with the changeover of the commercial fleet,” said Gary Meteer, director, sales and client services, at R. L. Polk & Company, which compiles such statistics.

The trend, if it holds, should eventually bode well for the economy as combined registrations for all commercial vehicles in the first half of 2010 were 524,700, representing a 19% increase over the same period last year. New commercial vehicle registrations saw just a slight increase of 3.1% during the period, though, reflecting the reluctance of businesses to invest in the faltering U.S. economy, and  concentrating instead on cost cutting and layoffs during the ongoing Great Recession.

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“Large fleet owners and operators are upgrading to new vehicles, and therefore the smaller fleet companies and independent owner-operators have great opportunities to find available clean used equipment,” Meteer claimed.