* Sub-prime credit new-vehicle buyers up 92 pct
* Early April sales indicate 14-pct gain for month
* Used small-car sales on the rise
DETROIT, April 11 Automakers and dealers are
getting the highest transaction prices in 15 years for vehicles
sold in the United States, due to a high demand for a dwindling
supply of new vehicles, CNW Research said on Monday.
The figures are based on early sales in April, when new
cars and trucks sold at 87 percent of manufacturers suggested
retail price (MSRP), the highest percentage since 1996.
"Dealers are the primary beneficiary of these dwindling
discounts since they are using fewer of their own dollars to
close a deal than was necessary just a few years ago," CNW
Discounts of 13 percent from MSRP in early April are down
from 23 percent under MSRP in 2009 when the U.S. auto industry
sales hit a 27-year lows.
The gap between transaction price and MSRP may narrow
further as new cars and trucks become more scarce due to auto
parts supply issues related to the Japan crisis.
Consumers are looking for fuel-efficient cars and trucks in
light of rising gasoline prices, CNW said.
Used cars are in thinner supply, particularly small cars,
CNW said. Supply of used small cars has dropped to less than 40
days, half of the days of supply from last April and down from
50 days of supply in January, CNW said.
Early sales in April show that the U.S. new-vehicle market
is tracking for 1.11 million units sold for the month, up 14
percent from last April, CNW said.
Credit is loosening also, which may help boost sales, and
stands to further narrow the gap between actual selling prices
New-vehicle purchases by those with sub-prime credit is up
a staggering 92 percent from last year, CNW said.
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Derek Caney)
(firstname.lastname@example.org; +1 313-416-4073))