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New car prices level off after several years of increases

August 08, 2012|By Jerry Hirsch
  • The average car sale price so far in 2012 is slightly below the 2011 average, according to J.D. Power and Associates. Above, a Toyota dealership in Richmond, Calif.
The average car sale price so far in 2012 is slightly below the 2011 average,… (Bloomberg )

New car prices have stabilized after rising quickly coming out of the recent recession, a new report shows.

A study by market research firm J.D. Power and Associates found that the average transaction price for a new automobile this year-to-date is $28,013, down slightly from the $28,337 logged for all of last year.

But from 2008 through last year the average transaction price rose 11%.

Renewed consumer demand from drivers of aging cars and a significant reduction in the sales incentives offered by manufacturers were behind that price increase.

Prices have leveled this year because automakers have been disciplined about their discounts and sales incentives.

In 2008, the average incentive per car sold was $3,018. By last year, that had dropped to $2,686.

J.D. Power, which used data from 9,500 dealers for its report, noted that automakers are selling cars with more options and equipment, a trend that also has contributed to higher transaction prices.

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