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Chrysler transaction prices rise; incentives fall

by Bill Cawthon on estimates the average retail transaction price for a Chrysler vehicle was $28,777 in May, up 1.8% from May 2010 and up 0.5% from April 2011. General Motors had the highest average transaction price, $33,883, while Hyundai/Kia had the lowest at $19,217.

“Average transaction prices reached their highest levels ever recorded,” said Jesse Toprak, chief prognosticator at “Even though consumers continued to move toward smaller vehicles, they also chose highly contented vehicles that are higher priced, keeping transaction prices high.”

Chrysler incentives dropped $100, or 3.6% from April 2011 and a whopping $963 from May 2010. Chrysler’s average incentive was $2,706 in May, about $8.00 lower than GM, which still has the most cash on the hood. All seven of the largest automakers cut incentives in May, from a 23.4% reduction at Ford to a 54.4% slash from supply-strapped Toyota.

Chrysler still has the highest incentive-to-transaction price ratio, at 9.4%, but that is down significantly from 13% in May 2010.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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