New-car transaction prices rising steadily; up 2.6 percent in April

(May 1, 215) IRVINE, Calif. — The analysts at Kelley Blue Book today report the estimated average transaction price (ATP) for light vehicles in the United States was $33,560 in April 2015.  New-car prices have increased by $836 (up 2.6 percent) from April 2014, while increasing $195 (up 0.6 percent) from last month.

"Prices were up across most of the industry, but we are seeing some of the greatest increases in the truck segments," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  "Full-size trucks were particularly strong, up 4.5 percent, while mid-size trucks were up 3.5 percent.  Incentive spending on trucks also has been lighter this year, indicating a great market for these units right now."

Continuing to benefit from popularity among trucks and SUVs, the domestic automakers all report significant year-over-year gains in transaction prices.  Up 3.3 percent, Fiat Chrysler was helped by strong prices from its Dodge and RAM brands.  As it retools its portfolio, Dodge had an 8.9 percent gain, while RAM increase 4.2 percent.

Ford jumped 3.2 percent, driven by its top-seller, F-150, which was up 4.4 percent with nearly half of sales comprised of the redesigned 2015 model.  Ford's No. 2 seller, Fusion, dropped 3.1 percent as its hybrid and electric variants sold fewer units.

"Another notable increase in transaction prices is from Hyundai Kia, which is up 4.7 percent," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  "The redesigned Sonata, up 7.9 percent, helped the Hyundai brand to a 4.2 percent gain, while the Kia Sedona, up 16.5 percent, lifted the Kia brand 5.2 percent in April."