Transaction prices rise, as sales rate sets 10-year record

Transaction prices rise, as sales rate sets 10-year record

WANADA Bulletin readers are no doubt well aware of Mayês strong new vehicle sales, up 1.4 percent from a year ago even with one fewer sales day. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) soared to 17.8 million, the highest in 10 years. And a Bank of America forecast sees auto sales topping out at 20 million in 2018.

With the low price of gas (though itês been creeping up), light trucks and SUVs did especially well. That in turn raised the average transaction price by 4.3 percent from May 2014, or $33,363, according to Kelley Blue Book. Domestic brands profited the most from this trend, as cars make up only one in three units sold for the Detroit Three.

–We also saw incentive spending remain nearly flat in May, which shows the strength of the overall new-car market,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

–Relatively easy credit availability is helping drive transaction prices up, but it will be interesting to see if this trend continues if the long anticipated interest rate hikes materialize,” Brauer said.

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