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Midweek Auto News From Cox


Welcome to From the Newsroom, a roundup of news from Cox Automotive and perspectives from its analysts and experts on topics dominating the automotive industry.
Automakers are exploring new revenue streams, with subscription-based Features on Demand (FoD) being of particular interest. However, new research conducted by Cox Automotive suggests that convincing consumers that FoD is a good value for money may prove challenging.

In the Auto Market Report published this morning, Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke notes that the new-vehicle market momentum this spring was likely supported by growing incentives. If supply tightens again, which is what we are seeing in early May days’ supply numbers, incentives may not continue to grow or stay as strong.

April’s new-vehicle sales came in surprisingly strong, supported by solid sales growth in fleet. Ahead of tomorrow’s consumer price index (CPI) release, the most widely used measure of inflation, we published data on new-vehicle pricing in April from Kelley Blue Book. The average transaction price in the U.S. fell to $48,275 in April, the fourth monthly decrease and prices remained below the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
Meanwhile, the used-vehicle market continues to lose momentum. The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index decreased substantially in April, the eighth straight year-over-year decline.
Recent commentary in the Newsroom provides an interesting perspective on the auto industry.
Why Are Prices So High? The Used-Car Factory Was Shut Down from Cox Automotive Senior Director of New-Vehicle Solutions Brian Finkelmeyer, takes a look at how the past few years of low new-vehicle sales have led to a persistent shortage of used-vehicle inventory.
Register today: Join us for the
 Cox Automotive Mid-Year Review on Tuesday, June 27, at 11 a.m. EDT. Yes, it’s that time already! 

We hope you find this selection of articles informative and helpful. Visit the Cox Automotive Newsroom for the latest on the industry’s most important topics. Bookmark the Auto Market Snapshot, a one-stop dashboard on the data our team is tracking.


Cox Automotive recently conducted research on the trend toward Features on Demand (FoD), which refers to subscription-type features that automakers can offer as part of their new-vehicle sales strategies. The study surveyed over 2,000 in-market vehicle shoppers to determine their interest in vehicle features through subscription-type services, as well as explored the consumer benefits and barriers for FoD.
“Our initial research indicates that the transition to Features on Demand will be an uphill battle for many automakers,” said Vanessa Ton, senior manager of market and customer research at Cox Automotive, who helped lead the research project.
The greatest revenue opportunities for FoD, according to the study, would be stolen vehicle location and recovery systems, parking-assist features, digital keys via smartphone applications, and in-vehicle Wi-Fi. Automakers will need to carefully present an FoD strategy and offer free trials on safety and convenience options to gain consumer acceptance.

Read the article to learn more about how consumers view Features on Demand and how automakers can appeal to them. Download the study infographic.


Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke notes that consumer attitudes have been sensitive to the price of gasoline for over a year now. However, gas prices fell last week along with consumer sentiment. 

Data show auto loan rates for new vehicles are actually up in the first part of May, and few 0% or low APRs are being offered so far this month. 

Read the Auto Market Weekly Summary and watch the Auto Market Report video for more data and insights from Smoke on new and used retail sales and inventory, auto financing and Cox Automotive leading indicators.


According to data released by Kelley Blue Book, the average price Americans paid for a new vehicle in April was $48,275 and remained below the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the second consecutive month. The April average transaction price (ATP) remained relatively flat month over month but was up 3.7% ($1,744) compared to year-ago levels. Auto manufacturers’ incentive spend rose to the highest level in the last year, averaging 3.6% of the ATP in April 2023.
Check out the Data Point published this morning.


The recently announced Fed rate increase was expected, but what was more significant was the lack of language suggesting further increases. This indicates that additional rate hikes are less likely. However, the Fed has already raised the Fed Funds Rate 10 times in a row, from 0% to 5% in just over a year. The results of the previous rate hikes are seen in housing and the used-car market, plus some banks failed.
As noted by Cox Automotive Chief Economist
Jonathan Smoke in his article last week, people with lower income and credit quality are having trouble buying new cars due to high rates, tight credit and high prices. The risk of a recession has increased, and the upcoming debt ceiling and Fed meetings will be important.
Read the Smoke on Cars article to find out what to expect as we head toward uncertain summer. Bonus content: Subprime Buyers Get Squeezed Out of Auto Market by Fed Rate Increases


In a recent article, Brian Finkelmeyer, Cox Automotives senior director of New Car Solutions, discusses how the past few years of low new-vehicle sales have led to a shortage of used-vehicle inventory. This shortage has been exacerbated by production disruptions during and after the pandemic, which resulted in what Finkelmeyer refers to as a “used-car factory shutdown.” It seems that recent history is now shaping our near-term future, and this report sheds light on why prices for used cars have been so high.
Read the article:
 Why Are Prices So High? The Used-Car Factory Was Shut Down


Earnings season wraps up this week, and our Industry Insights team provides a quick recap of the foundational numbers for the major automakers — U.S. market data on sales volumes, ATPs, incentive spend — and provides a top-level look at automaker performance. 
Quarterly market performance reports are available for Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda Motor Company, Hyundai Motor Company, Nissan Motor Corp., Stellantis and Toyota Motor Corp.

Looking ahead: This week, we will publish April updates to the Dealertrack Credit Availability Index, new and used inventory levels and average listing prices, from vAuto data, as well as an analysis of April certified pre-owned sales.
Next week, we will report the mid-month Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index and publish the Manheim Market Insights video. Quarterly Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch reports will be published on the non-luxury and luxury segments.

Please contact us if you have questions or want to connect with the Cox Automotive PR team.

“In the market right now, there is low consumer awareness and some skepticism on the part of shoppers. To gain consumer acceptance, automakers must ensure consumers perceive subscription-based features as a good value and not just a money-grab.”
Vanessa Ton, senior manager of market and consumer research at Cox Automotive, speaking about
findings from the new study “Software Monetization: The Emergence of Vehicle Features on Demand.”

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