New-car transaction prices rise nearly 2 percent year-over-year in July

(August 1, 2017) IRVINE, Calif. — The analysts at Kelley Blue Book today reported the estimated average transaction price (ATP) for light vehicles in the United States was $34,721 in July.  New-car prices have increased by $573 (up 1.7 percent) from July 2016, while decreasing slightly (down 0.3 percent) from last month.  

"Once again, the declining sales of cars and the growing popularity of SUVs is driving up the average transaction price," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. 

"Despite modest sales growth for SUVs in a down market, transaction prices in these segments are not particularly strong, with compact SUVs up just 1 percent and mid-size SUVs flat.  However, cars could fall to just 35 percent of overall sales in July, and this shifting sales mix is certainly helping increase most manufacturers' ATPs."

Fiat Chrysler's average transaction prices rose nearly 4 percent year-over-year in July, with the Chrysler brand garnering an impressive 8 percent spike on a lower mix of the discontinued 200 sedan.  Jeep climbed 4 percent thanks to stronger sales of the Grand Cherokee.  Additionally, RAM prices grew 1 percent, with Dodge seeing a 2 percent increase.

General Motors' average transaction prices were down 2 percent in July, with Cadillac emerging as the best performing brand, increasing by 5 percent.  Cadillac benefitted from a more SUV-heavy sales mix in July, estimated at two-thirds of the brand's sales. On the other hand, Chevrolet decreased by 1 percent on average, with the Silverado declining 4 percent year-over-year.  Buick also dropped by 4 percent, with the Enclave falling 7 percent as Buick sells down the outgoing generation before the new Enclave launches later this year.