Almost two years of new-vehicle prices sitting above manufacturer’s suggested retail price ended in March, when the average U.S. transaction price fell to a hair over $48,000, according to Kelley Blue Book.
The average price paid was $171 below the average sticker price and the first drop below it that KBB had noted in 20 months. That price was down 1%, or $550, month-over-month.
A year earlier, the average ATP hit almost $1,000 over MSRP, KBB said.
“Both luxury and non-luxury prices were down month over month. We’ve been anticipating transaction price declines as inventory has steadily improved and choice has expanded,” said Rebecca Rydzewski, research manager of economic and industry insights for Cox Automotive. “More vehicles on dealer lots – and on their competitors’ lots – means dealers simply don’t have the pricing power they did six months ago.”
Sales volume increased 20% month-over-month and 8% year-over-year in March, due in part to less expensively priced models, along with greater supply and robust fleet sales, KBB said.