Monday, June 4, 2007

Chrysler transaction prices take a dip

The Dodge Caliber is among the lower-priced vehicles recently added to Chrysler's lineup that have pulled down the overall OEM price.


Automotive News
June 4, 2007 - 1:00 am
Chrysler's price skid
Average new-vehicle transaction prices for the Detroit 3’s domestic brands have risen steadily in the past 5 years — until the Chrysler group started to slip this year.
Chrysler groupFord motorGM
*Jan. 1-May 29
Chrysler group (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep); Ford Motor (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury); GM (all brands but Saab)
Source: Power Information Network
Not only are Chrysler group sales off this year, so are transaction prices.

That's a reversal of trend. The average retail price for the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands combined had been rising steadily since 2003, according to the Power Information Network. But in the first five months of this year, it fell slightly - from $25,635 in all of 2006 to $25,381 through Tuesday, May 29.

Meanwhile, prices for the domestic brands of General Motors and Ford Motor Co. continue to rise this year as unit sales decline. In fact, transaction prices for GM and Ford have increased in each year of this decade.

But at the Chrysler group, the model mix is moving downmarket.

"The recent additions or redesigns for Chrysler include a lot of lower-priced vehicles," says Power analyst Tom Libby, citing the Jeep Compass and Patriot and Dodge Nitro and Caliber. "If the mix for these go up, that will pull down the overall OEM price.

"In contrast," Libby says, "many of the new or redesigned vehicles for GM and Ford are at the higher end of the price spectrum, which will pull up their prices."

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