New-Car Transaction Prices Up More Than 4 Percent On Truck, SUV Demand, According To Kelley Blue Book

Domestic Brands Profit Most from Truck, Utility Lineups; Interest Rate Hikes Could Disrupt Sales and Average Transaction Prices

IRVINE, Calif., June 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The analysts at Kelley Blue Book, the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry, today report the estimated average transaction price (ATP) for light vehicles in the United States was $33,363 in May 2015.  New-car prices have increased by $1,363 (up 4.3 percent) from May 2014, while dropping $130 (down 0.4 percent) from last month. 

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"With the national average price of gasoline down nearly a dollar per gallon on average from one year ago, truck and SUV demand remains strong, elevating average transaction prices, especially for domestic automakers, in May," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  "We also saw incentives spending remain nearly flat in May, which shows the strength of the overall new-car market."


May 2015 Transaction Price (Avg.*


2015 Transaction Price (Avg.*

May 2014 Transaction Price (Avg.*

Percent Change April 2015 to May 2015*

Percent Change May

2014 to May


American Honda (Acura, Honda)






Fiat Chrysler (Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, RAM)






Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)






General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)












Nissan North America (Nissan, Infiniti)






Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)






Volkswagen  Group (Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche)












*Kelley Blue Book Average Transaction Prices do not include applied consumer incentives


Major truck and utility manufacturers, like the domestic brands, are profiting most from this trend, as cars make up only 1-in-3 units sold for the Detroit Three.  General Motors, for example, is up 4.2 percent year-over-year on the strength of its newer products, including Cadillac Escalade, GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Corvette.  The rise in SUV sales has continued to help GM, which is one of the strongest SUV manufacturers in the world.  Not only do SUV sales lift average transaction prices, but SUVs also tend to drive increased profit compared to sedans.  With several additional all-new GM products coming this year, particularly from Chevrolet, General Motors looks to continue its strong run throughout 2015.

"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," said Brauer. 

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About Kelley Blue Book (
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry.  Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new and used cars this week.  The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies.  Kelley Blue Book's ranked highest in its category for brand equity by the 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study and has been named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year for three consecutive years.  Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a Cox Automotive company.

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SOURCE Kelley Blue Book

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