Average New-Car Price Tops $45,000

By Staff Writer October 14, 2021

New-vehicle prices hit another all-time high in September 2021, marking the sixth straight record-setting month and surpassing a $45,000 average for the first time, according to Kelley Blue Book. At $45,031, the average transaction price (ATP) for a new vehicle was up 12.1% (or $4,872) from one year ago in September 2020 and up 3.7% (or $1,613) from August 2021.

The all-time-high prices accompanied the fifth straight month of a slowing sales pace. Total sales last month numbered just 1,012,797, a 7.3% month-over-month decrease and one of the lowest volumes in the past decade. On top of supply dynamics, the vehicle mix shifted in September away from lower-priced sedans, compacts and entry-level segments toward more-expensive pickups, SUVs and the luxury market.

“The record-high prices in September are mostly a result of the mix of vehicles sold,” said Kayla Reynolds, analyst for Cox Automotive. “Midsize SUV sales jumped in September compared to August and full-size pickup share moved up as well. Sales of lower-priced compact and midsize cars, which had been commanding more share during the summer, faded in September. As long as new-vehicle inventory remains tight, we believe prices will remain elevated.”

Incentive spending fell in September to another record low, dropping to 5.2% of ATP last month, a decrease from 5.6% in August 2021 and well below the 10.0% of ATP recorded in September 2020. Porsche, Land Rover, Genesis, Subaru and Toyota had among the lowest incentive spend last month, all 3% of ATP or lower. On the other hand, Alfa Romeo, Buick, Fiat and Infiniti each had incentive levels above 10% of ATP.

ATPs in September continued to be driven higher by strong luxury vehicle sales. Luxury sales accounted for 16.6% of total market sales, up from 15.1% in September 2020. Luxury share in September was among the highest in the past decade, and luxury buyers paid an average of $60,845 for a new vehicle last month.

Manufacturer

September

2021

Transaction Price (Avg.)*

August

2021

Transaction Price (Avg.)*

September

2020 Transaction Price (Avg.)*

Percent Change August 2021 to September 2021*

Percent Change September

2020 to September 2021*

American Honda (Acura, Honda)

$35,310

$34,891

$30,365

1.2%

16.3%

BMW Group

$64,094

$60,892

$57,797

5.3%

10.9%

Daimler

$75,369

$74,885

$59,899

0.6%

25.8%

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

$48,346

$47,734

$43,736

1.3%

10.5%

Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)

$51,421

$51,877

$46,295

-0.9%

11.1%

General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)

$53,241

$49,564

$43,792

7.4%

21.6%

Hyundai Kia

$34,387

$33,551

$29,810

2.5%

15.4%

Mazda

$34,144

$32,831

$30,103

4.0%

13.4%

Mitsubishi

$28,978

$28,753

$23,415

0.8%

23.8%

Nissan North America (Nissan, INFINITI)

$34,621

$33,322

$30,904

3.9%

12.0%

Subaru

$33,911

$34,804

$31,911

-2.6%

6.3%

Tesla Motors

$55,085

$54,538

$54,270

1.0%

1.5%

Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Toyota)

$40,778

$38,845

$35,713

5.0%

14.2%

Volkswagen Group (Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche)

$49,018

$49,696

$44,913

-1.4%

9.1%

Volvo North America

$55,416

$53,968

$48,604

2.7%

14.0%

Industry

$ 45,031

$ 43,418

$ 40,159

3.7%

12.1%

*Kelley Blue Book average transaction prices do not include applied consumer incentives.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 19 October 2021 15:40