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Report: SUV demand up on yearly basis

Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 8:04:34 AM

The preferred type of new vehicle is changing. This was the trend reported by Kelley Blue Book, as more consumers lean toward SUVs - not sedans - when they hit the dealerships.

As a result, the average transaction price for new vehicles is also on the rise, given the typical price tag for SUVs. Kelley Blue Book research found that the ATP for light vehicles in February was $33,299. That is up 3.6 percent compared to February 2014, but down slightly from January of this year.

"An expected higher mix of SUVs, particularly full-size and mid-size, is helping drive the overall industry average upward," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "While utility vehicles are thriving, hybrid cars are doing the opposite, with transaction prices falling 2.5 percent from last year."

The demand for SUVs and trucks was supported by Edmunds.com, which pointed out that projected new-vehicle sales will be up 11.8 percent from January to February.

Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell explained that winter weather could have encouraged some buyers to upgrade to SUVs and trucks over the past few months.

Overall, strong economic conditions and affordable auto financing can also help many buyers drive off the lot in their ideal vehicles.