IRVINE, Calif. — Average transaction prices rose by a healthy 3% in May, even as new-vehicle demand is expected to falter in 2018, Kelley Blue Book reported on Friday.

According to the firm, the estimated average transaction price for light vehicles in the United States was $35,635 in May 2018, up $1,187, or 3.4%, from May 2017 but down $145, 0.4%, from April.

“It’s no surprise prices were helped by SUV demand, but pickup trucks played a big role in May’s increases as well,” said Kelley Blue Book analyst Tim Fleming. “Prices in both full-size and mid-size truck segments were up 4%, and it is shaping up to be a pivotal time for pickups with the new RAM truck now on the market, a new Chevrolet Silverado coming later in the year, and the Ford Ranger returning to the U.S. early next year.”

Ford Motor Co. is among the automakers benefitting from strong utility and pickup truck lineups. The company’s average transaction price grew nearly 5% in May, as both brands, Ford and Lincoln, put up solid numbers.

Lincoln’s average transaction price was up 14%, due to the new Navigator, whose transaction price jumped 32% from this time last year. For the Ford brand, the new Expedition increased 15% from a year ago, while the 460-horsepower Mustang GT helped the model’s average improve by 12%. A strong mix of F Series sales also helped Ford, as the brand’s average transaction price climbed 4%.

General Motors also was up 4% year-over-year, with the Chevrolet brand leading the way with a 5% boost in transaction prices. The brand’s increase came on a strong mix of Silverado sales, as well as the redesigned Traverse, which posted a 12% in its transaction price. In addition, the new Buick Enclave was up 7%, although an expectedly high sales mix of Encore will result in a slight decline in average transaction prices for Buick.

Originally posted on F&I and Showroom