New cars selling for less than last year

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Car prices down

Car prices are down from last year, says Kelley Blue Book. Image: J D Hancock/Flickr/CC BY

New car prices are down from last year. That coupled with the dropping price of gasoline could make this summer a little rosier for recession-weary motorists.

Fuller inventories

Many auto dealer are offering discounts that were not seen last year because of the shortage of vehicles from Asian automakers.

The output from those automakers suffered from the earthquake and tsunami in the spring of 2011. With inventories low, dealers had very little reason to offer discounts at that time. But now those inventories are back up, and dealers are again offering buyers incentives in order to move cars.

According to the auto pricing company, Kelley Blue Book, consumers are paying an average of $500 less for new vehicles this summer when compared with last year.

Alec Gutierrez, the senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book, said:

“Although conditions in the global economy continue to deteriorate, consumers who are willing to pull the trigger on a new vehicle will find that there are plenty of deals available.”

Japanese car prices

While the discounts are less prevalent from U.S. automakers, Japanese brands such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda can be had for significant price drops.

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Kelley Blue Book says that would-be Toyota Prius hybrid owners will find the largest discounts, with an average price of $2,500 lower than in 2011. The Prius is the world’s best-selling hybrid. The price break will not hurt that status any.

Other Japanese brands will have significant price reductions, as well. The Honda Accord and Nissan Sentra are both down about $1,500 from 2011 prices.

Gutierrez said:

“The average Honda model is selling for nearly $1,200 less than this time last year, and a Subaru, Mazda or Toyota is approximately $700 to $800 more affordable. Compare this to the average year-over-year declines of less than $500 for Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.”

Some other largely discounted models include the Toyota Highlander, down $2,000; the Honda Civic, down $1,550; the Toyota Corolla, down $1,400; the Mazda3, down $1,200; the Mazda6, down $1,050; the Nissan Maxima, down $1,050; and the Subaru Forester, down $700.

Gas prices falling, too

Some analysts are predicting that gas prices may be down to below $3 in the coming fall. That and the lower price tag on cars should please motorists in an otherwise pretty gloomy economy.


Los Angeles Times
Mercury News
AOL Autos

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