With the auto industry focusing on its most popular, higher-priced vehicles to take advantage of the computer chips available during a worldwide shortage, it’s no surprise that the Average Transaction Price of each new vehicle continues to climb each month.
In fact, the latest figures in a report from Kelley Blue Book shows the ATP for new Chevrolets rose to $51,441 in October, up 2.1 percent over the $50,451 recorded a month earlier. The October 2021 figure also represents a nearly 23 percent hike compared to Chevy’s numbers in October 2020, when the ATP was $41,898.
All four General Motors brands (Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC) had an ATP of $54,448 during October 2021, up 2.3 percent from the $53,211 a month earlier and a 21.4 percent hike over the ATP of $44,861 in October 2020.
Across the industry, new-vehicle prices increased for a seventh straight month and reached another all-time high in October 2021, surpassing $46,000 for the first time, according to KBB’s report. The October 2021 ATP for all carmakers climbed 12.9 percent (or $5,266) over October 2020 and was up 2.0 percent (or $910) from September 2021.
That means the average new vehicle sold 2 percent above MSRP in October. In other words, buyers were paying an average of $800 over sticker price last month. In October 2019, transaction prices were about $2,300 below MSRP.
Leading the way for GM has been the new mid-engine Corvette, which posted an average price of $89,788 in September 2021. Figures for October weren’t available. Apparently, Stingray buyers are checking a lot of boxes on the options list to send the base price of $60,995 skyrocketing to the heavens.
The rapid rise in ATPs can be blamed on high demand amid limited production due to the global chip shortages.
“Whether they are desperate or impatient, consumers continue to pay hundreds of dollars above the suggested price for new vehicles,” said Kayla Reynolds, analyst for Cox Automotive.
“While the average transaction price jumped to a new record high, the average incentive package fell to a 20-year low. To score a new vehicle, buyers are accepting no-haggle pricing, with significant market adjustments in some instances. It is absolutely a seller’s market right now.”
High prices may be impacting sales, but it’s hard to know for certain with new-vehicle supply remaining so tight. Total new-vehicle sales increased slightly in October to 1,056,137, a 4.1% month-over-month increase. Sales, however, were down 22.4% compared to one year ago and down 21.0% compared to October 2019. New-vehicle inventory remains far below healthy levels, and many automakers are steering available microchips to higher-end, higher-margin products. As a result, volumes are depressed, but sales revenue has jumped significantly.
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