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Prices Increase as Auto Sales Continue to Gain Momentum

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Feb. 5, 2013—As major car companies continue to experience vehicle sales gains this year, deals and discounts are becoming harder to come by, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Chrysler Group and General motors both saw U.S. sales jump 16 percent in January, while Ford reported a 22 percent increase.

As the number of sales increase, so do average transaction prices. Citing data from TrueCar.com, the Wall Street Journal said that Chrysler increased its average transaction price by nearly $1,000 per car, and Ford’s North American operations division increased transaction prices by over $500 in the fourth quarter, a record high for the company. General Motors prices remained generally unchanged.

Discounts were also down at the end of last year; fourth-quarter incentives were down 2.6 percent for Chrysler, up 1.5 percent for Ford and unchanged for General Motors.

Banks appear to be offering record low rates on car loans, with financing hovering at 4.12 percent for a five-year loan on a new car and at 4.53 percent for a four-year loan on a used car, Greg McBride, senior analyst at Bankrate.com, said in the Wall Street Journal report. McBride said that some large banks and credit unions are offering rates as low as 2.5 percent on both new and used models.

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