Wednesday, 13 October 2021 15:58

Average New-Vehicle Transaction Prices Top $45,000 for First Time


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New-vehicle prices hit another all-time high in September, marking the sixth straight record-setting month and surpassing $45,000 for the first time, according to a new report from Kelley Blue Book.

At $45,031, the average transaction price (ATP) for a new vehicle was up 12.1%---or $4,872---from one year ago in September 2020 and up 3.7%---or $1,613---from August.


The all-time-high prices accompanied the fifth straight month of a slowing sales pace. Total sales last month numbered just 1,012,797, a 7.3% month-over-month decrease and one of the lowest volumes in the past decade.


On top of supply dynamics, the vehicle mix shifted in September away from lower-priced sedans, compacts and entry-level segments toward more-expensive pickups, SUVs and the luxury market.


"The record-high prices in September are mostly a result of the mix of vehicles sold," said Kayla Reynolds, analyst for Cox Automotive. "Midsize SUV sales jumped in September compared to August and full-size pickup share moved up as well. Sales of lower-priced compact and midsize cars, which had been commanding more share during the summer, faded in September. As long as new-vehicle inventory remains tight, we believe prices will remain elevated."


Incentive spending fell in September to another record low, dropping to 5.2% of ATP last month, a decrease from 5.6% in August and well below the 10.0% of ATP recorded in September 2020.


Porsche, Land Rover, Genesis, Subaru and Toyota had among the lowest incentive spend last month, all 3% of ATP or lower. On the other hand, Alfa Romeo, Buick, Fiat and Infiniti each had incentive levels above 10% of ATP.


ATPs in September continued to be driven higher by strong luxury vehicle sales. Luxury sales accounted for 16.6% of total market sales, up from...

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