U.S. new-car prices rise slightly

The average new-car price for light vehicles in the U.S. is now $34,648 — up 0.7 percent year-over-year from August 2016, according to Kelley Blue Book.

The industry average managed to climb nearly 1 per cent even as August transaction prices across major manufacturers varied, said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

For the month of August, Fiat Chrysler’s average prices jumped 6 per cent thanks in part to Ram truck sales. South Korea’s Hyundai enjoyed a 2 per cent increase with the automaker’s smaller cars largely responsible for the gain. And Nissan is up almost 2 per cent with its top-performer, the Armada, jumping 13 per cent amid big sales increases.

The downside is that these gains — specifically the nearly 1 per cent overall increase in average new-car prices — doesn’t compare to the 2 to 3 per cent gain seen in the first half of the year. And the fact that prices decreased in key segments like full-size trucks and mid-size cars doesn’t help the situation.

“With incentives still averaging more than 10 per cent of transaction prices, Kelley Blue Book sees clear signs of pressure on new-car pricing in what is the first down year of sales since the recession,” Fleming said.

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