"April sales were a bit dampened by the harsh financing conditions we've been seeing in the new car market," according to Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of industry analysis. "Shoppers are really starting to feel the pinch as prices continue to creep up and interest rates loom at post-recession highs."
Edmunds reports that the average price of a new car is expected to climb to $36,718 in April once all the numbers have been tallied. That's the highest figure recorded so far this year. Interest rates are steadily climbing as well, with an average APR of 6.28% last month. That compares to 5.58% last year.
Toyota sold 183,866 vehicles in April (including Lexus), compared with 192,348 units a year earlier, which represents a drop of more than 4%.
General Motors and Ford only report sales on a quarterly basis, but estimates from those automakers show declines of nearly 3% percent and 5%, respectively.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' 173,825 sales represent a drop of more than 6%. FCA's numbers (which will also soon be sent out quarterly) were propped up by a strong performance from its Ram truck brand, which was up 25%, but dragged back down by Jeep, which fell an uncharacteristic 8%.
Honda, up 0.1%, and Hyundai/ Kia, up 1.7%, posted slight gains last month, while the Volkswagen Group was down by 3%.
On the luxury front, BMW's 26,547 sales represented a decline of 2% and Mercedes' figure of 25,716 is down 11%.
The brightest spot of the month came from Nissan, which posted a total of 95,698 sales (including its luxury brand Infiniti) representing a gain of 9%.