New cars populate the front row and obscure the street-level view of an otherwise empty new-car lot at Toyota of Orange in Orange, Calif., in November. (Getty Images)
In today’s installment of the U.S. inflation story — and how new and used vehicle prices are major factors driving it — we hear from the folks at vehicle valuator Kelley Blue Book, who note that new car prices had another modest increase in November to keep them in record territory. KBB reports that average new-car transaction prices are up more than 13% from November 2020.
People still need cars. Dealer inventories are low, due largely to the worldwide microchip shortage and other supply-chain issues (plus a growing realization on the part of both dealers and automakers that they can maintain smaller inventories going forward). So dealers have responded to that basic supply-and-demand situation in a predictable way, by holding prices at