Tag Archive | "Kelley Blue Book"

KBB: Flat Prices, Higher Incentive Spending Signals Headwinds for New-Car Market


IRVINE, Calif. — Transaction prices continue to rise at a slower pace, with October’s estimated average transaction price expected to rise by $101 from a year ago to $35,263, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) reported on Tuesday. Compared to September, the firm expects the average to increase by $128, or 0.4%.

“Prices in the third quarter were up just 1% after averaging 3% gains in the first half of the year,” said KBB analyst Tim Fleming. “While Kelley Blue Book expects solid sales in October 2017 at 17.9 million SAAR, flat transaction prices combined with ever-growing incentive spending signal headwinds for the new-vehicle market as 2017 nears its end.”

Expected to register the highest year-over-year increase is Fiat Chrysler, with the automaker’s average transaction price on pace to rise 4% from a year ago. The Jeep brand is expected to record a 3% increase in its average, with the redesigned Jeep Compass expected to show a 6% increase in its average.

The firm noted that the wind down of the Jeep Patriot also is helping to drive up average transaction prices for the Jeep brand.

Dodge’s average is expected to climb by 10% from a year ago on the strength of the Durango SUV and its new SRT performance trim, KBB noted.

Volkswagen Group’s average transaction prices are also expected to be among the best performers on a year-over-year basis, rising 2% for the month. The Volkswagen brand alone is expected to show a 4% increase in its average transaction price, thanks, in part, to the recently introduced Atlas SUV and redesigned Tiguan (expected to be up 6%).

The firm said it expects Audi to show a 4% increase in its average transaction price, with the redesigned A5 expected to show a 4% increase on the strength of its new Sportback body style.

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Average Transaction Price Rises in January


IRVINE, Calif. — The average transaction for a new vehicle increased by $1,123, or 3.3%, from a year ago to $34,968, according to Kelley Blue Book estimates. The average, however, was down by $453, or 1.3%, from December 2016.

Driving the year-over-year strength in pricing was a sales mix in favor of utility vehicles, with the Detroit Three among the greatest beneficiaries, the vehicle information site said.

“The changing mix of sales in favor of utility vehicles is the primary driver for the year-over-year strength, as average prices in SUV segments climbed modestly, while the prices of subcompact SUVs declined,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Demand for subcompact SUVs, one of the hottest segments in 2016, appears to be slowing down, although new models from Ford, Nissan and Toyota could help spark interest in the segment.”

The Detroit Three continue to perform well with some of the greatest year-over-year increases. In particular, General Motors climbed 4% in January 2017, as all of its brands reported increases in transaction prices. Cadillac had the greatest gain at 7%, thanks to the new CT6 sedan and XT5 crossover.  Chevrolet rose 3%, with the new generation Camaro showing the most improvement, up 10% year-over-year.  GMC increased 5% on a strong mix of its full-size SUVs, the Yukon and Yukon XL.

Nissan North America also continues to show gains in average transaction price, which was up 5% for January 2017. A sales mix in favor of SUVs and trucks is partially responsible, as well as the new Armada SUV, which recorded an average transaction price increase of 18%. The new Titan also is performing well, up 9%. Infiniti climbed 2% with help from the Q50 (up 9%) and its new lineup of engines, including the 400 horsepower Red Sport trim.

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KBB: Average Transaction Price Climbs to Record High in December


IRVINE, Calif. — The estimated average transaction price for light vehicles in the United States reached an all-time record high of $35,309 in December, according to Kelley Blue Book (KBB). This increase, the auto firm added, amounted to a 1.5% increase over the same time last year.

Virtually all vehicle OEM recorded increases in average transaction prices, with Fiat Chrysler, Ford Motor Co. and Nissan North America leading the way. However, KBB noted that just as new prices have grown, so have incentives.

“Even though transaction prices are at an all-time high, incentives have grown similarly to counterbalance the increased prices,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  “Higher average transaction prices are reflective of the rapid shift in consumer demand away from cars and into trucks and utility vehicles, which are more expensive. Should the sales mix of cars to SUVs reach a stable point in the near future, actual transaction price growth could match or fall just short of inflation.”

For Fiat Chrysler, average vehicle transaction prices rose 3.3%, driven primarily by the automaker’s Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands. The strength of the Pacifica minivan propelled average transaction prices for the Chrysler brand up 10%, as did fewer sales of the brand’s 200 Sedan. The Dodge brand was up 5% on a lower mix of its compact car, the Dart, and strong performance from the Charger. The average for the Jeep brand was up 2% thanks to a strong month from the refreshed Grand Cherokee.

“December was an interesting month for FCA. Though the Jeep and Ram brands are up, incentives are high, and vehicles such as the Cherokee saw big drops. Jeep has to hope its 2017 redesigns can stem some of the bleeding and help reduce incentives,” said KBB analyst Akshay Anand. “Alfa Romeo and Fiat continue to be drags on FCA, with Alfa’s volume still next to nothing and Fiat continuing to decline in sales. The Pacifica was a great story for Chrysler, but the brand still needs more models in order to become a player.”

Essentially matching Fiat Chrysler’s growth rate, Ford Motor Co. realized a 3% rise in its average transaction price for December. The main drivers were the automaker’s Explorer, Escape and Fusion, which saw their transaction prices climb by 11%, 3%, and 4%, respectively. The Lincoln brand’s average transaction price rose 3% increase due to the Continental $57,156 average transaction price.

Nissan North America realized the biggest year-over-year increase among all the OEMs, with its average transaction price rising 5.9% over the same time last year, according to KBB. Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for AutoTrader, noted that the brand’s growth was driven in large part by the success of its Nissan Rogue sport utility, which benefited from the advertising tie-in with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

“Appealing products, incentives, and financing likely drove the industry to another record year in 2016. A three-peat is possible (if not probable) if Wall Street, consumer confidence, and the economy continue to respond favorably to the incoming administration. There are a lot of old cars on the road still and a lot of new technology awaiting shoppers in today’s showrooms,” said Rebecca Lindland, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

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Average New-Vehicle Transaction Price Reaches $33,781, KBB Reports


IRVINE, Calif. — The estimated average transaction price for a new car reached $33,781 in February, a 2.2% increase from the prior year, according to Kelley Blue Book.

The vehicle information site attributed the rise to low gas prices pushing more consumers toward more expensive pickup trucks, and vehicle OEMs are responding by increasing incentives spending.

“Increased incentives are helping offset part of this growth, as incentive spend is nearing pre-recession levels in recent months,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Low gas prices are attracting consumers toward pickup trucks, with average transaction up a combined 6% for the segment. The same growth has not been seen in traditional car segments like compact and mid-size cars, which are both up 0.5 %, or around $100.”

Utility and truck models helped propel Toyota Motor Co., Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors and Ford Motor Co. to some of the highest transaction prices during the month. The release of the all-new Honda Civic and a well-performing Honda Pilot helped increase the average vehicle transaction price for American Honda by 0.5% year-over-year.

Hyundai-Kia was the only brand to see a year-over-year decline in average transaction price. The brand’s $24,577 average transaction price was down 1.6% from the year-ago period. Although the Tucson had its best month for the brand, dealers sold down the outgoing Elantra model during the month.

The month’s highest average vehicle transaction price was recorded by General Motors at $37,765.

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KBB, Autotrader Report Strong November Unit Sales


IRVINE, Calif., and ATLANTA — Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book reported stronger-than-expected auto sales during the month of November. The overall industry health is looking strong; however, there are a few risk factors that are worth paying attention to heading into 2016, analysts said.

The stronger-than-expected unit sales during November were driven by higher employment rates, a recovering economy, cheap gas prices, cheap credit, and successful year-end promotions, analysts noted.

“I think the holiday and Black Friday promotions generally resonated with consumers and we’ll see that trend continue through December,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for Autotrader. “A notable exception that didn’t’ really resonate with consumers so much was the Ford Friends and Neighbors campaign.”

Ford has since canceled the campaign and plans to replace it with a more conventional year-end incentive. Krebs explained that while the campaign increased showroom traffic, not enough of that traffic translated into sales. Dealers told Autotrader that many customers who were aware of Ford’s Friends and Neighbors campaign thought they could do better looking elsewhere.

Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book’s original forecast predicted a SAAR of 17.8 million units after November. Most major manufacturers that have reported November sales put the SAAR at 18 million units, with the possibility of the SAAR reaching 18.2 million. That depends on the performance of manufacturers that had yet to report November sales, they told the two firms.

“Usual suspects continue to do very well,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “As far as the industry is concerned, month over month, very similar trends in terms of what segments are doing well: trucks and SUVs.”

Nissan was up 4% from last year, while GM and Ford came in under their forecasts. The two domestics did report solid truck and SUV sales, however. An increase in incentives was responsible for the 20% sales increase realized by the Jeep brand, according to analysts.

While great for moving vehicles, the trend of rising incentives outpacing rising transaction prices was one of the risk factors identified by KBB’s Guiterrez. “In fact, while we did see a year-over-year increase in terms of what consumers are paying for new cars at the dealership, we have seen that growth start to slow,” Gutierrez noted. “Typically, we see 2-3% growth in transaction prices, but in November, that growth was coming in at less than 1%, so some stabilization happening there.”

While transaction price growth seems to be halting, incentives seem to be increasing. For the past four months, industry-wide incentives have averaged around $3,100, Krebs said.

“That’s the highest we’ve seen since prerecession,” said Krebs. “More importantly, the incentives are taking a bigger share of the average transaction price … the average transaction prices are increasing, but not at the torrid pace they were.”

Krebs also pointed to rising interest rates as another risk factor, saying the firm expects the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates later this week. While the increase will likely add only a couple of extra dollars to the typical car loan, it could have a major impact on other household loans. And that could push potential car buyers out of the market, she said.

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New-Vehicle Transaction Prices Rise More Than 1% in October


IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book reported today that the estimated average new-vehicle transaction price for light vehicles was $34,023 in October, with new-vehicle prices rising $458 from a year ago and $233 from September.

Leading the way were full-size SUVs, high-performance cars, mid-size trucks and vans, the vehicle information site noted. By brand, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Lincoln, Ram and Subaru lead the way in terms of month-over-month and year-over-year price gains.

“These brands had growth from different segments across their lineups, a promising sign given the increasing popularity of SUVs and trucks in the market,” said Akshay Anand, a Kelley Blue Book analyst.

One of the few brands to show a dip in average transaction prices from the prior month (down 3.6 percent) and on a year-over-year basis (down 1.8 percent) was Volkswagen. “In fact, Volkswagen had the largest month-over-month drop as the diesel emissions issue continues to impact the automaker,” said Anand. “Six out of the eight vehicles within its lineup were down from last month, while only the Golf is up from this time last year, potentially reflecting Volkswagen’s need to offer its vehicles at slightly lower prices since consumer perceptions of the brand may be impacted.”

As a whole, Volkswagen Group is down 1.6 percent from September 2015, but up 2.9 percent from last year.

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