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SUV Sales Push Transaction Prices Higher

November 4, 2014

IRVINE, Calif. — Kelly Blue Book estimates that the average transaction price for light vehicles in October was $33,361, a $246, or 0.6%, increase from a year ago and 0.7% better than September.

The vehicle information site attributed the increase to sales gains in the small and mid-size SUV markets, which have benefits from low gas prices.

“Utility vehicles, especially small and mid-size, are the story once again, as consumers are buying more and willing to pay more for these models,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for KBB. “With gas prices at a three-year low and with consumer confidence at a seven-year high, this trend should continue.”

Ford showed the biggest gains in October, with average transaction prices rising 2.1% for the OEM. The gains were due to strong sales of the F-Series. Transaction prices for Lincoln were down 2.1%, with the only Lincoln model showing an increase being the Navigator.

Transaction prices do not tell the whole story, however, as Nissan saw its transaction prices fall 2.6% despite increases in overall sales this year.

“Nissan North America continued to show declines in transaction prices, despite increasing sales by 13% this year,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for KBB. “This is partly due to their mix, as the share of the brand’s smallest cars, the Versa and Sentra, makes up more than one quarter of Nissan’s sales. “

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