New-car prices in the US up 2 percent last month image

US buyers paid on average for a new car with 645 dollars more in March than a year ago, according to analysts from Kelley Blue Book.

The estimated average transaction price for light vehicles in the United States was 33,666 dollars in March, as new-car prices have increased by 2 percent – with 645 dollars – from a year earlier, remaining flat compared to last month’s levels, according to Kelley Blue Book. While average transaction prices have shown an increase nearly on all automakers, there is also another side of the coin. “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,” Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said. Furthermore, in order 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, warns Fleming.

Fiat Chrysler transaction prices had the largest percentage increase of the major automakers at 3.3 percent year-over-year growth last month. The Dodge brand jumped 5 percent on strong gains from the Challenger (up 9 percent) and Charger (up 7 percent), while the RAM brand grew 5 percent on a higher mix of pricier crew cab configurations for its pickup truck. Toyota also had a great month, increasing prices by 3.1 percent, but the world’s larger automaker by sales did not have such an encouraging monthly sale volume, as its figures dropped 2.7 percent, after analysts expected from Toyota a rise of about 6 percent on average. According to Kelley Blue Book, Volkswagen Group’s average transaction prices were down 4.5 percent as all of its units fell year-over-year, with its core brand dropping the most, with 7 percent.