GAINESVILLE, GA – The used-vehicle market is performing well following the Fourth of July holiday, with auction attendance and activity stable, but there is noticeable activity from the truck segment and its improved retention values, according to Ricky Beggs, Black Book VP and managing editor, in his weekly “Beggs on the Used Car Market” video.

Beggs reported the truck segment - including pickups, vans, SUVs, and crossovers - has had the most activity with 67 percent of the adjustments coming from these type vehicles. Full-size pickups, in particular, are a very vital part of the industry and have improved in retention value.

“With a very large portion of the power plants in this segment being diesel-fueled, meeting the latest diesel emission standards has required new technologies. These power plants, at a significant premium cost over the gas engines, from $7,200 to $7,800 when new, have a very positive retention value, currently at $7,400 for a used three-year-old model,” Beggs said.

He added that the extended, super and crew-cab pickups have increased in their retention values, and attracted more potential buyers in the wholesale and retail markets in the used markets.

“Today’s three-year-old extended/super cab models will bring an additional $1,500-$2,200 premium over a regular cab model. Taking it to the next level, a crew-cab version with four full doors will require an additional $2,000-$2,500 more over the extended/super cab design,” Beggs said. “Sure you are going to pay an extra $2,100 to $2,700 when new over the regular and/or extended versions for the increased cab space and doors, but it opens up many more potential buyers in both the wholesale and retail markets in the used markets.”

Beggs also interviewed Kevin Giddens, Black Book senior truck editor, to gain some insight on the improvements made in the truck segment.

Giddens told Beggs the biggest improvement he sees for these latest updates is the hauling and truck capabilities of these trucks, which he said “far exceed last year’s.”

“You look at the improvement that they make every year and you think, ‘How could this keep getting better?’ But they always somehow seem to do so,” Giddens said. “Looking at the different models out there, a ¾-ton now can haul as much as 4,000 lbs. of payload and they can tow close to 22,000 lbs. on a 1-ton truck. Not only this, but just the ease it pulls with on these new diesel engines is absolutely wonderful.”

In order to tow and control this extra payload, Giddens said today’s trucks have more options, such as trailer sway control, hill start assist, and integrated trailer brakes. “The [brakes] are put into place so they’re not in the way; you don’t hit it with your knee anymore. It’s really easy to reach which makes it safer; and they also have built in exhaust brakes which also help handle the load when you’re coming down hills,” according to Giddens.

Beggs asked Giddens if the erratic cost of fuel over the last couple of years and the uncertainties of gasoline and diesel fuel prices is a concern for the market segment, with the emphasis being placed on these new models by the manufacturers. Giddens’s response was mixed.

“Everyone is concerned with the fuel cost these days, but with the economy being what it has been the last couple of years the market’s a little different,” Giddens explained. “The people buying these trucks nowadays and the ones that are going to continue to buy them are the ones that need these trucks to make a living with, or to live the lifestyle that they want to live. Also, with technology being as it is, the fuel economy is better than it ever has been. The trucks have six-speed automatic transmissions now and they really do well.”

Today’s trucks also offer more communication technologies that provide mobile office solutions, Giddens told Beggs.

“Someone can actually work out of their truck unlike they could in times and years past,” said Giddens. “You have technology there to print invoices and receipts. You have technology there to track your vehicles, not only where they are during the day when they are out of the office, but also when it’s time to service the vehicles. You can have online diagnostic checkups and you also have special services like tool locks and those types of things.”