New Vehicle Prices On The Rise

Kelley Blue Book’s analysts reported the estimated average transaction price for light vehicles in the United States was $31,995 in March 2014.

New-car prices have increased by $450 (up 1.4 percent) when compared to March 2013, while decreasing $185 (0.6 percent) from last month.

“We are seeing continued year-over-year gains in average transaction prices.  The increase in prices have been enough to offset rising incentive spend and consumers have consistently shown they are willing to spend top dollar for the best models available, so the first focus for manufacturers should remain on building solid products,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  “Much like last month, American Honda is particularly strong with help from Acura, which is up 5.9 percent from last year.  The MDX is driving powerful sales, increasing its average transaction price and boosting the brand.  Honda also is benefiting from a stronger mix of Odyssey and CR-V in the marketplace.”

Heading into spring, KBB’s analysts said sales are anticipated to continue on an upward trajectory.  The momentum built in March should set the market up for some big months ahead, as consumers return to market following tumultuous winter weather for most of the nation.

“Revealing the only drop among all major automakers from this time last year, Nissan has fallen due to its best-selling Altima, which has a transaction price down 4.8 percent year-over-year,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  “The Rogue, which was recently redesigned, only shows a small 0.9 percent grain, while Nissan’s luxury counterpart, Infiniti, is essentially flat.”

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