US vehicle buyers in May paid on average less than the sticker price — a constant trend since January.
The average price of new-car buyers in May paid less than $410 below the sticker. That’s a sharp contrast to May 2022, when the average transaction price was $637 more than the sticker.
New-vehicle sales in May were up 22 percent from year-ago levels, driven by lower prices, increased inventory and fleet deliveries, Kelley Blue Book said.
“The modest new-vehicle price increase in May was offset by increased incentives, so many buyers were able to find deals below the sticker,” Rebecca Rydzewski, Cox Automotive research manager of Economic and Industry Insights, said in a press release.
Consumers in May paid an average price of $44,960 for a non-luxury vehicle, up $158 from April. Ford and Kia had the highest non-luxury transaction prices, selling at more than 3 percent over sticker prices in May, Kelley Blue Book said.
In the luxury segment, the average new-car buyer in May paid $64,396 in May, up $239 from April. Luxury cars in May also had the highest incentives, equaling 7.7 percent of transaction prices.
Sevak Adamyan, sales director for Pacific BMW in Glendale, Calif., said he doesn’t see incentives coming to his dealership in the near future.
“We need to have inventory before they start to give incentives,” Adamyan told Automotive News. “Even though we have inventory coming, they’ve done a really good job on selling us to presell cars. Unless inventory stacks up, they’re not going to. I have 70 cars in stock where I used to have 600, so why would you give any incentives?”
Strong luxury vehicle sales, which accounted for 18.4 percent of total May sales, had a significant impact on overall elevated new-vehicle prices, Kelley Blue Book said. The luxury share has continued to fall since February, when it hit 19.5 percent of total monthly sales.