The average transaction price for a new vehicle in March reached $35,285, 2% higher when compared to the same time last year, according to Kelley Blue Book.
Nearly all manufacturers saw average transaction prices grow, but the Volkswagen Group saw the highest gains, with average transaction prices growing 7.1% year-over-year. General Motors and American Honda also saw healthy growth in average transaction price through the month at 3.9% and 2.6%, respectively.
Various vehicles within GM had higher transaction prices in March, however, the biggest contributor to GM’s growth was the Chevrolet brand as a whole. Through March, the Chevrolet brand saw average transaction prices for its vehicles collectively rise 5% in March.
Only two manufacturers saw year-over-year declines in average transaction price in March: Fiat Chrysler and Nissan North America.
Fiat Chrysler saw gains among most of its brands in March, with one exception. Average transaction prices for the Ram brand were down 3% due to the sell down of its 2018 Ram pickups, which brought Fiat Chrysler down overall. Prices within the Ram brand should begin to rise in the coming month, however, as the brand's new generation trucks are beginning to reach dealership lots.
In terms of vehicle segments, luxury full-size SUV/CUVs and high performance cars saw the highest year-over-year gains in average transaction price. Only four vehicle segments — compact cars, full-size car, sports car, and subcompact car — experienced declines in average transaction price.
“Most automaker transaction prices increased in March 2018 as the industry average rose 2%,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Average transaction price growth was headlined by SUVs, particularly in the mid-size and full-size segments. Although fuel prices were up last month, SUV sales remain strong and new models like the Chevrolet Traverse and Lincoln Navigator helped elevate their respective segments.”