The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Truck Repos Increase in 1st Quarter 2004

August 05, 2004

Nassau Asset Management's NasTrac Quarterly Index (NQI) has identified an increase in truck repossessions since first quarter. Ed Castagna, senior executive vice president of Nassau, said the figures reflect recent turbulence within the industry despite an overall drop in truck repossessions over the past two years. Figures are viewed on an annual basis only, for example, there were actually 47-percent fewer trucks repossessed in the second quarter (Q2) of 2004 than in Q2 2003. However, when comparing Q2 2004 to the first quarter of this year, truck repossessions climbed 33 percent. "Perhaps the economy is not as robust as we are being told," Castagna says. "We are being asked to repossess more trucks than we were earlier this year due to a number of factors, including rising fuel prices and insurance costs." Castagna says his company's NQI also is detecting changes in the volume of repossessions involving other equipment. As a result, Nassau plans to supplement its quarterly index with faster reports called Emerging Trends Alerts. Charts and press releases summarizing both types of reports are available free of charge to the public at "Finance companies and industry analysts can also contract with Nassau to dig deeper into the numbers, determining the root causes for trends and researching specific equipment types," Castagna adds. "Companies can use their private reports created by Nassau to help mitigate risk in portfolios and/or provide useful economic indicators to their own clients." Nassau has tracked equipment trends for several decades as a function of its nationwide remarketing operation, which recaptures and resells all types of assets. Recognizing the value its data holds for the equipment leasing and finance industry and economic analysts, the company in 2003 launched NQI, which reports on equipment types generating the greatest volume of repossessions. The current NQI reports on trucks/trailers, printing presses, information technology, medical devices and construction equipment. These were the top five repossessed capital assets in Q2 2004, according to Nassau's internal records on liquidations. Castagna says the Q2 data, when compared with the same quarter a year ago, shows there was a 47-percent decrease in repossessions of trucks, 46-percent drop in repossessions of medical devices, and 30-percent slide in repossessions of construction equipment. At the same time, repossessions of printing presses jumped by 117 percent and those of information technology rose by 22 percent. Castagna says Nassau plans to monitor both of these sectors closely to determine whether there are economic reasons for the increase, or whether they simply reflect Nassau's expanding base of clients that finance these types of equipment.
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