The estimated average transaction price for light vehicles in the United States was $34,948 in November, an increase of 1.7% compared to the same time last year, according to Kelley Blue Book.
"Climbing transaction prices reflect the shift in consumer preference from cars to more expensive trucks and SUVs," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "Manufacturers with strong truck and SUV lineups are currently seeing record pricing, especially in these late fall months when these segments are especially popular. However, the subcompact utility segment, which is the fastest-growing segment in the industry this year, is showing signs of slowing, with prices falling by 1%, thanks to higher discounts used to sell down excess inventory."
Fiat Chrysler — which includes Alfa Romea, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram — realized the biggest year-over-year gain in transaction price. The average price for the OEM's vehicles grew by 4.7% from a year ago. Nissan North America recorded the second highest increase, with its average transaction price rising 3.4% from a year ago.
Nissan's transaction prices were helped by the brand's new Armada SUV, which saw its price rise by 16% year over year. Transaction prices for the Nissan Titan XD grew even more, rising 34% from a year ago, according to KBB.
On the other side of the spectrum, transaction prices for Hyundai-Kia fell 2% from a year ago. Separating the two brands, Hyundai prices fell by 4% and Kia prices fell by 1%. The Sonata, according to the firm, took the brunt of Hyundai’s price decrease, dropping 5% in average price compared to the prior-year period.
By vehicle segment, hybrid/ alternative energy cars realized the biggest price increase, rising 3.8% from a year ago. Realizing the biggest decline out of all segments were high-performance cars, which realized a 4.3% decrease in their average transaction price from a year ago, the firm stated.