Truck repos are high, but reselling is brisk

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Repossessions and liquidations of tractor-trailer trucks nationwide have been high for the past five quarters, repossessed trucks are finding buyers quickly, reports Nassau Asset Management, an asset management firm serving the equipment finance industry. Nassau’s NasTrac Quarterly Index reveals trends in equipment repossessions and orderly liquidations based upon the company’s own internal activity in a given quarter compared to the same quarter the previous year. Recently, the company also has been tracking truck repossessions and liquidations from quarter-to-quarter.

“In addition to our NQI, Nassau intends to publish quarter-to-quarter trends in trucking repossessions for the remainder of 2006,” says Nassau President Edward Castagna. “This may help everyone navigate any effects caused by the new federal engine standards for 2007, gasoline prices, and other forces.”

Nassau’s data indicates that truck repossessions and liquidations began to rise in the first quarter of 2005. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, repossessions rose 61 percent in the first quarter 2005; 30 percent in the second quarter of 2005 and 32 percent in the third quarter of 2005. The third quarter of 2005 was the peak in terms of volume, but repossessions were up 145 percent over the fourth quarter of 2004.

Castagna cites high fuel costs as a major factor, but he believes that the upswing reflects a positive trend: industry growth over the past few years. There are more financed vehicles on the road as the industry rebounded from the 2001 downturn, and more vehicles naturally means more repossessions and liquidations.

Trucks that Nassau has repossessed or liquidated are reselling quickly, Castagna says. “We feel the rush to change out fleets before year end may leave a surplus of used trucks on the secondary market. We intend to monitor resale speed and price levels for the remainder of 2006.”