AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Aug. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- If you ask your grandparents how much stuff cost them when they were young, you will probably think their answers are jokes. The price of new car deals has changed very dramatically over the years.
Of course inflation plays a large role in raising the price over time, but the shifting focus of the auto industry over time also plays a big part. Sometimes it seems like models rise or drop in price each year for no real reason at all. Even though it may be hard to notice, there are many factors at play here.
Seeing the patterns
To maximize sales and stay as competitive as possible, car manufacturers always keep a close watch on what is important to car buyers. It isn't a big secret what is important to drivers these days. Gas mileage, technology and performance are three of the biggest concerns that are driving the auto industry today, but so too is a low price.
Many of the changes in price stem from the constant tweaking made in the designs to improve in these areas. Some times they cut back on certain cars to get a better price, other times they include more and the price increases. When a car is able to increase in these key areas and keep the price low at the same time, they will always have a lot of success.
Adding and subtracting
Putting more standard technology naturally makes the cars more expensive. The Toyota Venza had its price increase by an average of about $1000 on its three trim levels, but each got more options included like blind spot mirrors, a touch screen interface and driver memory functions.
Volkswagen took the opposite approach when they redesigned their Volkswagen Passat for 2012. The model that is sold in the United States was designed specifically for the American market. It is much more like a family car now, but by cutting a whopping $7000 off the price, Volkswagen made their midsize sedan a much more attractive deal as one of the new cars under $20000.
Every car does not go through such dramatic shifts every year. For example, the base model of the Focus is dropping in price by $300 for the 2013 model but nearly every other trim is getting a price hike of around 5%. This slight fluctuation is a very common occurrence each year for many new models.
Using it to your advantage
So what does all this really mean for someone thinking about buying a car? Depending on what you want out of your new car, a previous model year may be the better choice for your situation. You won't know for sure until you sit down and really research your options.
Being an informed shopper is the best way to get better deals on the right vehicles. Not only is it important to learn as much about the car buying process and the vehicles themselves, it is also crucial to keep your finger on the pulse of the auto industry as a whole.
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