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Average new car prices increase again in August, setting new record

Kelley Blue Book released updated data on Monday, showing that new car prices increased in August for the fifth month and set another record for the month.

In August, the average transaction price (ATP) for a new vehicle reached $48,301. That’s a 0.5%, or $222, increase month-over-month from the previous high of $48,080 set in July. It also represents a 10.8% increase year over year from August 2021.

New inventory day’s supply remained in the mid-to-high 30s, as it has all summer, but is showing slow signs of increasing. The days’ supply for August was 43% higher than the same month last year, but new-vehicle inventory remains well below levels seen in 2019 and 2020 before supply shortages started to have an impact. August had roughly 1.2 million units in inventory in the US, and sales averaged just 1.1 million units per month in 2022.

Hyundai, Land Rover, Honda, and Kia showed the most strength, averaging between 5-and-9% over sticker for August. Ram, Volvo, Lincoln, Buick, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat showed the least strength, selling 1% below MSRP.

Rebecca Rydzewski, Research Manager of Economic and Industry Insights for Cox Automotive, stated, “Prices are still high and climbing incrementally every month. New-vehicle inventory levels have been rising through August, now reaching the highest level since June 2021. However, supply of popular segments – like subcompacts, hybrids, and EVs – still remains very low,” Rydzewski said. “Automakers are focusing on building and selling high-margin vehicles. Essentially, the product mix is the primary factor keeping prices high.”

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