Average new vehicle price in the US in August broke July’s record

Data published by Kelley Blue Book, a Cox Automotive company, indicates that the average price paid for a new vehicle in the US in August surpassed the record of July and kept the average transaction price (ATP) solidly above the $48,000 mark.

Kelley Blue Book new vehicle ATP increased to $48,301 in August 2022, surpassing the previous high of $48,080 set in the prior month. August 2022 prices increased 0.5% ($222) month over month from July and 10.8% ($4,712) year over year from August 2021.

Hyundai, Land Rover, Honda and Kia continue to show the most price strength in the market, trading 5-9% above the tag last month. Ram, Volvo, Lincoln, Buick and smaller Italian brands Alfa Romeo and Fiat showed the least price strength, selling 1% or more below MSRP in August.

“Prices are still high and are getting progressively higher each month,” said Rebecca Rydzewski, manager of industry and economic data research for Cox Automotive. “New vehicle inventory levels increased through August and are now at the highest level since June 2021. However, supply of popular segments, such as subcompacts, hybrids and electric vehicles, remains very low. Automakers are focusing on building and selling at a high margin. Essentially, the product mix is ​​the main factor that keeps prices high.”

The median price paid for a new non-luxury vehicle last month was $44,559, an increase of $132 month over month and a record for vehicles of this type, surpassing the maximum established the previous month. Car buyers in the non-luxury segment paid an average of $1,102 above the sticker price, an increase from the previous month. Non-luxury buyers paid almost 2% above MSRP in August, compared to 1% above MSRP a year ago. One bright spot for buyers was that truck buyers paid $142 below the sticker price in August.

In August 2022, the average luxury buyer paid $65,935 for a new vehicle, up $878 from the previous month, when luxury ATPs hit a record high of $65,057. Luxury buyers continue to pay more than MSRP for new vehicles, although prices tend to be closer to sticker prices. The share of luxury vehicles also remains historically high, although the share declined to 17.5% of total sales in August from 17.7% in July. The high share of luxury goods sales is helping to boost the ATP for the industry as a whole.

The report indicates that the average price paid for a new electric vehicle (EV) increased in August by 1.7% compared to July and increased by 15.6% compared to the previous year. The average price of a new electric vehicle — more than $66,000, according to Kelley Blue Book estimates — remains well above the industry average, aligning more with luxury prices than conventional prices.

Incentives decreased slightly in August versus July, remaining historically low at just 2.3% of the average transaction price. A year ago, incentives averaged 5.5% of ATP.

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