New vehicle inventory levels are recovering but car prices haven't fallen low enough

While still elevated, new car prices are slowly, somewhat, returning to reality. Aiding that correction is rising inventory across the market, which is pushing prices in the right direction. The CarGurus Intelligence Report for February 2024 showed that while prices are heading down as inventory issues subside, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

The report found that new list prices are down 1.3 percent since February 2023 and 0.3% since January of this year. That’s thanks in part to significant growth in new car inventory levels, which saw a massive 65% jump from 2023 and 5.2 percent since January. That said, the picture isn’t without its dark spots. Even with inventory on its way up, it’s still 25.9% lower than it was before COVID-19, and prices are still more than 30% higher.

Some individual models fared better than others when it came to price corrections. The Ford F-150 Lightning’s average price dropped almost 23%, while the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class fell by 22.3. The Ford Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit were third and fourth, while the Kia Niro EV came fifth.

10 models with the largest car price declines

  1. Ford F-150 Lightning: -22.8%

  2. Mercedes-Benz SL-Class: -22.3%

  3. Ford Mustang Mach-E: -19.3%

  4. Ford E-Transit: -12.2%

  5. Kia Niro EV: -9.8%

  6. Kia EV6: -9.7%

  7. Chevrolet Bolt EUV: -8.7%

  8. Kia Rio: -8.5%

  9. Hyundai Kona EV: -8.4%

  10. Nissan Rogue: -8.4%

The flip side to all of this is that some vehicles are seeing price increases. Pickup trucks and commercial vehicles have seen the most significant gains, with the Chevrolet Express van’s MSRP climbing by more than 31%. The related GMC Savana Chassis van wasn’t far behind with 28.2%. The Toyota Prius Prime’s price grew by 21%, and the Mercedes-Benz Metris Van climbed 19.8%. At the bottom of the list, the Toyota Tacoma saw an almost 12% price increase.

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