U.S. consumers are willingly paying more than ever for new vehicles, enticed by low interest rates, cheap leases and ubiquitous six-year loans that keep monthly payments affordable while the total price tag rises by thousands of dollars.
Automotive News reported that transaction prices are setting records at the same time that sales volumes are crossing thresholds not seen in nearly a decade. One analyst calculated the industry’s performance in August, when adjusted for transaction prices, as equivalent to a seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate of about 20 million vehicles.
Through August of this year, transaction prices are up 2% from the same period in 2013, to $31,341, according to TrueCar.
That’s a recipe for big-time profits, especially for the Detroit 3, whose truck-heavy lineups were an albatross during the recession. Now, trucks are paying off as consumers gravitate toward crossovers and SUVs over sedans.
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