Average Vehicle Price Up

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Jan. 3, 2020—The valuation analysts at Kelley Blue Book reported the estimated average transaction price for a light vehicle in the United States was $38,948 in December 2019. New-vehicle prices increased $656 (up 1.7 percent) from December 2018, while falling $80 (down 0.2 percent) from last month.   

"New vehicle transaction prices finished the year on a high note, with the average rising nearly 2 percent and approaching the record set in November 2019," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book."However, as retail demand fell in 2019, dealer discounts grew, approaching seven percent of MSRP in December—the highest since July 2009. On a positive note, the discounts appear to be working as the average days in inventory fell by two days from the previous month. With sales expected to be down in 2020, anticipate the pressure to continue on new-car prices and incentives."

Manufacturer December 2019 Price (Avg.) November 2019 Price (Avg.) December 2018 Price (Avg.) Percentage Change (November 2019 to December 2019) Percentage Change (December 2018 to December 2019)
Honda $29,152 $28,990 $29,661 0.6% -1.7%
Fiat Chrysler $41,513 $41,826 $40,561 -0.7% 2.3%
Ford $44,989 $45,006 $42,234 0.0% 6.5%
General Motors $42,141 $42,302 $41,621 -0.4% 1.2%
Hyundai Kia $28,694 $28,695 $26,307 0.0% 9.1%
Nissan $30,985 $30,645 $30,714 1.1% 0.9%
Subaru $30,936 $30,903 $30,128 0.1% 2.7%
Toyota $34,997 $34,685 $34,116 0.9% 2.6%
Volkswagen $44,329 $44,917 $43,345 -1.3% 2.3%
Industry $38,948 $39,028 $38,292 -0.2% 1.7%

Among the top performers, Ford Motor Company had another strong month with its average prices increasing more than 6 percent. The Mustang saw the biggest gains at 11 percent, boosted by the Shelby GT350 and GT500 variants, while the new Explorer is still putting up big numbers, rising 9 percent. The Lincoln brand continues to rise with several new models in the showroom, helping prices climb 8 percent. The Corsair saw the largest improvement at 8 percent, while pricing for the new Aviator strengthened in December, transacting in the high-$60,000 range.

Nissan North America rose about one percent in December 2019, with Infiniti down three percent and Nissan up two percent. At Infiniti, the QX50 fell the most at 8 percent and the aging QX60 also fell 5 percent. Nissan was led by its cars, as the redesigned Versa climbed 15 percent and the LEAF was up 9 percent. Nissan's top sellers, Rogue and Altima, were both up 2 percent.

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