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Auto Affordability Flat as Recovery Slows in Q2

August 10, 2010

DALLAS – The purchase and financing of an average-priced new vehicle took 23.6 weeks of median family income in the second quarter of 2010, according to Comerica Bank’s Auto Affordability Index.

The average total cost of buying and financing a new car increased by $200 to $27,950, a 2.7 percent annual rate increase from the first quarter.

Median family income is estimated to have risen at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the second quarter, virtually the same as the rise in the cost of buying a new light vehicle.

The average rate on car loans fell to 4.1 percent, down 20 basis points from the previous quarter. The first quarter reading was revised down 0.2 weeks to 23.6 weeks of median family income.

“Affordability was flat in the second quarter, as rising expenditures on new cars were offset by lower interest rates,” said Dana Johnson, chief economist at Comerica Bank. “Although the national recovery slowed in the second quarter, consumers were still willing to pay more for new vehicles, albeit on slightly better financing terms than in the first quarter. As a result, affordability was roughly unchanged from the first quarter level.”

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