A 9% increase in transaction prices for the Dodge Challenger helped push Fiat Chrysler to a 3.3% year-over-year gain from March 2016. Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book reported the estimated average transaction price for light vehicles in the United States was $33,666 in March 2016, a $645 increase from a year ago. On a month-over-month basis, transaction prices were flat.
“March average transaction prices reveal continued increases for nearly every manufacturer, with the industry average up 2% year-over-year,” said KBB analyst Tim Fleming. “While this may seem like good news for automakers and dealers, incentive spending continues to rise within the industry and offset part of this strength. Also, to afford the growing monthly payments, more consumers are financing these vehicles for 72 and 84 months, which will likely delay the purchase cycle for their next vehicle.”
Fiat Chrysler transaction prices had the largest percentage increase among the major automakers at 3.3% year-over-year growth. The Dodge brand jumped 5% on strong gains from the Challenger (up 9%) and Charger (up 7%), while the RAM brand grew 5% on a higher mix of pricier crew cab configurations for its pickup truck.
Toyota Motor Co. also had a great month, increasing average transaction prices by 3.1% year over year. The Toyota brand was up 4.7%, with increases on every model except the discontinued Venza. The Tacoma recoreded the largest increase at 11%. Additionally, Lexus was up 2.7%, with the new RX rising 6% to an average transaction price of $50,713. However, not all brands fared well.
“Volkswagen Group average transaction prices were down 4.5%, as all of its brands fell year over year,” said Fleming. “The Volkswagen brand fell the most, down 7%, as each model in its lineup was down from last year. The Jetta and Passat, two models affected by the brand’s diesel crisis, both were down 9%.”
For a complete listing of KBB’s March transaction prices by manufacturer, click here.