Can Consumers Afford the Cars We’re Building?

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NBC News - February 27, 2013

A recent affordability study by Interest.com indicates the median American household income would not include the purchase of a new vehicle right now.

Find out what else the study revealed.

The typical new vehicle is now more expensive than ever, averaging $30,500 in 2012, according to TrueCar.com data, and heading up again as makers curb the incentives that helped make their products more affordable during the recession when they were desperate for sales.

According to the 2013 Car Affordability Study by Interest.com, only in Washington, D.C., could the typical household swing the payments, the median income there running $86,680 a year. At the other extreme, Tampa was at the bottom of the 25 large cities included in the study, with a median household income of $43,832.

Affordability has been a matter of growing concern for the auto industry in recent years as prices have continued to move upward. Even the most basic of today’s cars are generally loaded with features that were once found on high-line models a few decades back – if they were available at all – such as air conditioning, power windows, airbags and electronic stability control, as well as digital infotainment systems. They also have to meet ever tougher federal safety, emissions and mileage standards that have added thousands to the typical price tag.

 

 

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