In October, with a UAW strike under way but vehicle inventories on the rise, the average price paid for a new vehicle in the U.S. was $47,936, less than 1% more than the month earlier (revised to $47,797), according to Kelley Blue Book, a Cox Automotive company.
Compared to one year ago, when incentives were near historic lows, average new vehicle transaction prices in October were lower by 1.4%, or approximately $670. Year to date, new vehicle transaction prices have fallen more than 3.5%, as downward price pressure continues to favor buyers in the market.
“New-vehicle prices in October were mostly unchanged from September,” said Rebecca Rydzewski, research manager at Cox Automotive. “The only big mover last month was Tesla, which continues to shift pricing at a surprising pace. In fact, the price shifts at Tesla in 2023 showcase just how dynamic pricing can be with a direct-to-consumer sales model.”
After increasing rapidly through the spring and early summer, new vehicle incentive growth has taken a pause, research shows. Average incentive packages have stayed mostly unchanged over the past three months at just under 5% of ATP.
New-vehicle sales incentives are significantly higher than one year ago but remain muted by historical standards. Through much of 2023, luxury vehicle incentive packages have been higher than non-luxury incentives. However, that trend flipped in October, when non-luxury incentives averaged 4.9% of ATP while luxury incentives averaged 4.6%.
NON-LUXURY PRICES HOLD STEADY
The average price paid for a new non-luxury vehicle in October was $44,331, an increase of less than 1% from one year ago and down $189 from the revised September price. The average incentive spend in the non-luxury segment was 4.9% of ATP in October, up from 2.3% one year ago and up from 4.7% compared to a month earlier.
Transaction prices for some strike-impacted brands climbed month over month in September. Chevrolet, Chrysler and Dodge all had incentive levels decline in October compared to September, and ATPs increased.
Conversely, Ford, Jeep and Ram brands all had incentives grow month over month, pushing ATPs in October lower. Generally speaking, the UAW strike was narrow in scope and directly impacted only a handful of vehicles, according to KBB.
LUXURY PRICES CLIMB, LED BY U-TURN AT TESLA
Luxury new vehicle prices in October increased by $757 compared to September but were down 7.4% year over year to $62,903, KBB reported.
The month-over-month increase in average luxury prices was led by Tesla, the luxury market leader by volume. Last month, Tesla’s average transaction prices were higher by 5.2% compared to September, reversing 10 straight months of transaction price declines for the electric car maker.
Other luxury makes that posted sizeable transaction price gains last month include Cadillac, Genesis, Jaguar, Lincoln and Volvo.
Despite generally higher prices, luxury brand sales were strong in October, with luxury share of total sales increasing to 19.4%, up from 18.6% in September.
EV PRICES CLIMB, BUT STILL LOWER THAN 2022
The average price paid for a new electric vehicle in October was $51,762, up from a revised $50,326 in September, KBB reported.
The month-over-month price increase was driven by transaction price gains with Tesla Model 3 (up 10%) and Model Y (up 3%).
Still, even with the gains in October, average EV prices are down more than $13,000 year over year. Notably, the average price paid for a Tesla Model X is down more than 23% year over year.