The average transaction price in December 2017 was $36,756, so January dropped a bit - nothing unexpected, with the month annually blamed for "January doldrums." More revealing is the fact that the average transaction price in January 2017 was $34,910. This year's plumped-up figure came courtesy of the continued shift to crossovers, SUVs, and light trucks, which shouldn't surprise anyone who's read an automotive blog in the past 20 years. That category comprised nearly 70 percent of new vehicle sales for the month.
Some manufacturers profited more than others, though. Fiat Chrysler managed 12.8 percent fewer sales in January compared year-on-year, but the company's vehicles sold for $1,300 more. The Ford brand suffered a 6.3-percent dip in sales, but brand transaction prices increased $2,000, while a Lincoln sold for $8,700 more on average. General Motors sold more cars and sold them for more money; overall GM transaction prices rose four percent, or $1,270, while a GMC traded hands for seven-percent more than in January 2017 and a Cadillac got $2,300 more on average. Of KBB's listed automakers, the Volkswagen Group got the most of out its customers, transaction prices rising at the German automaker by 5.6 percent to $42,243 in January 2018 compared to a year earlier. American Honda followed with a 4.3-percent increase to $28,991, GM in third at 4.1 percent to $40,313.
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Broken out by segment, minivans rocked the table, transaction prices leaping by 7.9 percent to $35,380 compared to January a year earlier. Luxury cars boasted the next-highest rise, at 3.6 percent to $58,533. Mid-sized cars, a segment no one wants to get close to because it smells like decay, saw average transaction prices go up by three percent to $25,865, attributed mainly to monster Toyota Camry sales and the Honda Accord, even though Accord sales dropped 9.5 percent year-on-year.