The average price of a new vehicle sold in May or June was

$25,924, down 4 percent from a year ago and in between the average 2004 and 2005 prices, according to the Power Information Network.

This price drop, the first year-over-year decline in the past five years, has been caused by both the shift to smaller, less expensive vehicles and the price decline for larger vehicles as they lose favor with consumers.

The typical large pickup price is down 9 percent from a year ago and is near the 2005 average price.

Bucking these trends, though, are large utilities, for which transaction prices have risen 2 percent from a year ago. These results are somewhat deceptive, as prices of all large utilities except the Sequoia are actually even or down. The transaction price of the redesigned 2008 Sequoia, which went on sale last December, is 13 percent higher than the price of its predecessor.

The average price of compact conventional cars sold in May and June remained stable at $17,787, close to the $17,830 average reported a year ago.