Average New-Vehicle Prices Up Nearly 3pc Year-Over-Year in February 2020, According to Kelley Blue Book

IRVINE, Calif: The valuation analysts at Kelley Blue Book reported the estimated average transaction price for a light vehicle in the United States was USD 37,876 in February 2020.

New-vehicle prices increased $975 (up 2.6%) from February 2019, while falling $126 (down 0.3%) from last month.

Many of the major manufacturers increased prices by more than 4% by capitalizing on the shift toward SUVs. However, trucks, especially full-size trucks, are exhibiting weakness, said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. After prices climbed 3% in 2018 and 4% in 2019, truck prices are only flat through February 2020. With the GM and Ram trucks in their second year of production and Ford about to sell-down the current F-150 for its upcoming redesign, this year may be a good time to find a deal on a new truck.

Once again, Hyundai and Kia led the way in year-over-year growth, with Hyundai rising 12% and Kia up 9%. Nearly every model from Hyundai saw gains, but none was higher than the redesigned Sonata which climbed 13%. Kia's largest gain came from the Niro, whose electric model with 239 miles of range helped push the model's average price up 9%. The Kia Telluride, which is now facing year-over-year comparisons for the first time, climbed 6%.

Nissan North America posted a strong increase of 4.6% in February 2020, as the Nissan brand rose 5%, while Infiniti fell 1%. Recent updates to Nissan's car portfolio helped several models this past month. The redesigned Versa saw the biggest increase at 16%, while the 215-mile LEAF Plus helped the LEAF average grow by 12%. Also, the new Sentra is reaching dealerships and prices should climb in the months to come. Infiniti was challenged by the QX50 (down 9%) and the QX60 (down 4%), but a lesser sales mix of sedans helped their brand's average.

At a segment level, we saw strength in SUVs in February, with compact SUVs up 2.4% and midsize SUVs up 3.4%, said Fleming. Two models drove the compact SUV segment up - the redesigned Ford Escape (up 7%) and the Toyota RAV4 (up 5%, thanks to its hybrid model).

Two redesigns topped the list of midsize SUVs - the Ford Explorer jumped 10% and the Subaru Outback was up 6%. Overall, the average car price was flat year-over-year, while SUV prices rose more than 2 percent.

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Average New-Vehicle Prices Up Nearly 3pc Year-Over-Year in February 2020, According to Kelley Blue Book