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Average Full-Size Pickup Truck Prices Continue Climb to $50k
Truck prices continue to rise and for good reason. Automakers are building sharp-looking trucks filled with comfort and technology like this 2016 Nissan Titan XD Platinum Reserve.

If there is one consistent complaint from consumers on full-size trucks is how much more expensive they have become. Kelley Blue Book just released their monthly average transaction prices and consumers looking for cheaper trucks aren’t going to be happy. If the trend on truck prices continue, we could crest over an average of $50k within the next decade.

Without a doubt the last decade has seen a complete redefinition of full-size and mid-size trucks. It really wasn’t all that long ago only farmers, ranchers and forestry workers were the main buyers. These trucks were workhorses meant to haul, tow and get dented up. Those trucks still exist, however, the new-age trucks are night and day better. They ride nicely, are quieter, haul and tow more, are more powerful, have more interior room, etc… Simply put, they aren’t really what an old-timer would think of as a “truck.”

These changes in trucks have also led to the explosion of luxury trucks. The fact is if you are going to daily drive a vehicle, you want some luxury features and trucks are no exception. Luxury trucks fit the bill. They also help drive up average truck prices.

Speaking of average transaction price, the analysts over at Kelley Blue Book released detailed information on each automotive segment and manufacturer. Here is the first chart showing the average transaction price for full-size and mid-size trucks.

SegmentNovember
2016
Transaction
Price
(Avg.)*
October
2016
Transaction
Price
(Avg.)*
November
2015
Transaction
Price
(Avg.)*
percent
Change
October
2016 to
November
2016*
Percent
Change
November
2015 to
November
2016*
*Kelley Blue Book average transaction prices do not include applied consumer incentives
Full-size Pickup Truck$46,473$46,576$45,985-0.2%1.1%
Mid-size Pickup Truck
$32,169$32,857$31,514-2.1%2.1%

Two things to take into consideration on this chart. First, the footnote is a big deal since one could theorize the majority of truck sales are done with some sort of incentive. Second, sure we are a long-way from $50k, however, a continued growth, no matter how slight, and we could end up there before you know it.

Next, let’s look at the average price for each manufacturer.


Manufacturer

November
2016
Transaction
Price
(Avg.)*
October
2016
Transaction
Price
(Avg.)*
November
2015
Transaction
Price
(Avg.)*
Percent
Change
October
2016 to
November
2016*
Percent
Change
November
2015 to
November
2016*
*Kelley Blue Book average transaction prices do not include applied consumer incentives
American Honda (Acura, Honda)
$27,426$27,545$27,448-0.4%-0.1%
Fiat Chrysler (Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, RAM)
$36,244
$36,420
$34,614
-0.5%
4.7%
Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)
$38,488
$38,953
$37,573
-1.2%
2.4%
General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)
$39,826
$39,827
$38,857
0.0%
2.5%
Hyundai-Kia
$24,493
$24,570
$24,915
-0.3%
-1.7%
Nissan North America (Nissan, Infiniti)
$28,796
$29,625
$27,847
-2.8%
3.4%
Subaru
$28,481
$28,761
$27,904
-1.0%
2.1%
Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)
$31,887
$31,673
$31,423
0.7%
1.5%
Volkswagen Group (Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche)
$39,985
$39,631
$40,066
0.9%
-0.2%
Industry
$34,948
$34,999
$34,367
-0.1%
1.7%

What’s fascinating on this chart, in my view, is the difference between companies that focus on trucks and those don’t. For example, Hyundai-Kia don’t offer a truck and their transaction price is nearly $14k less than Ford. Ford, General Motors, Fiat are big players in the truck segment and their average transaction prices reflects that. Toyota and Honda don’t really rely on them, but they do sell quite a few of them and their sales average reflects that. Finally, Nissan has seen a jump year over year and this is very likely due to the Titan coming out. With the Cummins engine in a Platinum Reserve XD, the trucks is well over $50k.

Kelley Blue Book’s analysts are seeing the same thing.

“Climbing transaction prices reflect the shift in consumer preference from cars to more expensive trucks and SUVs,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Manufacturers with strong truck and SUV lineups are currently seeing record pricing, especially in these late fall months when these segments are especially popular. However, the subcompact utility segment, which is the fastest-growing segment in the industry this year, is showing signs of slowing, with prices falling by 1 percent, thanks to higher discounts used to sell down excess inventory.”

In the end, there are still cheap pickups out there, but, as consumers continue to push the prices higher through buying the more expensive models (supply and demand), those cheap trucks will likely get harder and harder to find.

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