IRVINE, Calif. — Declining sales of cars and the growing popularity of SUV drove up the average transaction price by $573 from a year ago to $34,721. Compared to June, the average inched down 0.3%.
“Despite modest sales growth for SUVs in a down market, transaction prices in these segments are not particularly strong, with compact SUVs up just 1% and mid-size SUVs flat,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “However, cars could fall to just 35% of overall sales in July, and this shifting sales mix is certainly helping increase most manufacturers’ average transaction prices.”
Fiat Chrysler’s average transaction prices rose nearly 4% from a year ago in July, with the Chrysler brand garnering an impressive 8% spike on a lower mix of the discontinued 200 sedan. Jeep climbed 4% thanks to stronger sales of the Grand Cherokee. Additionally, RAM prices grew 1%, with Dodge realizing a 2% increase.
General Motors’ average transaction prices were down 2% in July, with Cadillac emerging as the best performing brand with a 5% increase. Cadillac benefitted from a more SUV-heavy sales mix in July, estimated at two-thirds of the brand’s sales.
Transaction prices for Chevrolet, however, decreased by 1% on average, with the Silverado declining 4% from a year ago. Buick also realized a 4% decline in its average, with Enclave transaction prices falling 7% as Buick sells down its outgoing generation before the new Enclave launches later this year.