New car prices rise 3% in June, boosted by non-luxury car and light truck sales

Nissan car prices rose the most, according to Kelley Blue Book data

Despite the continued threat of COVID-19 on the economy, the average price of new vehicles purchased this June climbed to $38,530, representing an increase of over three percent compared to a year ago, according to analysts at Kelley Blue Book.

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While sales throughout the three months ending in June are projected to be down 35 percent due to the pandemic and the "ensuing economic recession," sale prices have strengthed more than normal, analyst Tim Fleming said.

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"The industry average climbed 3 percent – helped by increases in non-luxury cars – and light truck sales mix at around 75 percent of the total market," he said. "Today's new-car buyers are likely more financially secure despite the economic uncertainty, and they are purchasing a disproportionate number of trucks and SUVs."

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The average transaction price (ATP) of vehicles made by Nissan North America, which includes the Nissan and Infiniti brands, rose the most in June, up 8.5 percent from the same period last year, according to Kelley Blue Book data.

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The ATP of the manufacturer's redesigned Versa rose 15 percent and the Sentra was up 7 percent. Nissan's mid-size Frontier increased by more than 4 percent. The automaker's top seller, the Rogue, saw an increase of 1.5 percent -- it will be replaced with a new generation later this year.

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Analysts cautioned that these elevated prices are likely to remain throughout the summer months due to the coronavirus-related factory shutdowns this past spring and the slow supply chain ramp-ups that followed, as well as the recent resurgence in used-car values.

Although buyers are heading back to dealerships, they are still shying away from luxury brands, which saw prices dip 1.5 percent, Fleming said.

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