New car inventories are finally starting to improve after months of severe shortages, but prices continue to rise.
The average transaction price paid in August was a record $48,301, according to the latest data from Kelly Blue Book.
That was up from $48,080 in July and marked the fifth-consecutive monthly record.
It also represents a 10% ($4,712) over August 2021, which was shortly after the supply issues started in earnest.
Dealer inventories were up 43% compared to last year, however, the 1.2 million figure remains down from 1.4 million seen in August 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic began affecting the industry in various ways.
Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Land Rover topped the list with transactions between 5-and-9% over sticker last month, while vehicles from Alfa Romeo, Buick, Fiat, Lincoln, Ram and Volvo were selling at less than 1% above the suggested retail price.
“Prices are still high and climbing incrementally every month,” Rebecca Rydzewski, research manager of economic and industry insights for KBB owner Cox Automotive, said
“New-vehicle inventory levels have been rising through August, now reaching the highest level since June 2021. However, supply of popular segments – like subcompacts, hybrids and EVs – still remain very low. Automakers are focusing on building and selling high-margin vehicles. Essentially, the product mix is the primary factor keeping prices high.”
Overall, Tesla saw the highest increase over last year, with August transaction prices 20.1% above where they were during the same month in 2021.