WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Rising transaction prices for new vehicles have been a big contributor to the health of the auto industry this year, J.D. Power analysts reported this week. They noted that the average new-vehicle transaction price has risen $3,900 since 2009 to $29,600.
Current transaction prices for new vehicle and the rise in sales could push up the value of vehicles purchased to the highest level ever at $407 billion, J.D. Power noted.
“When defining success in the auto industry, whether it is for a specific segment, manufacturer or model, it’s important to look beyond basic sales figures,” said Thomas King, vice president of J.D. Power’s Power Information Network.
King noted that not all vehicle segments have performed equally, with some delivering stronger volumes and lower price growth while others realized greater price growth but weaker sales. Retail sales in the large pickup segment, King pointed out, have increased 4.6% this year, which is below the overall industry sales increase of 5.7%. However, the average price of a pickup has risen by $2,700 over that same period, a gain of 7.5% compared to the industry average of 2.3%.
“From a sales perspective, large pickups have grown slightly slower than the industry overall, but from a price perspective, they have significantly outperformed the industry,” said King.
By contrast, compact SUVs have demonstrated exception retail volume growth of 22.1% so far this year. The average transaction price for models in this segment, however, have changed only slightly by an average of 0.6%. It is these statistical differences that is driving J.D. Power's belief that sales numbers alone do not provide the best overall picture of industry success.
“With the rapid growth of average transaction prices over the past few years, success needs to be defined more broadly to include overall revenues in addition to sales volumes,” said King.