Wednesday, Aug. 08, 2007, 08:00 PM UPDATED 11:59 AMBy Nick Zulovich
DETROIT — According to the Auto Affordability Index compiled by Comerica Bank, an average-priced new vehicle took 24.6 weeks of median family income in the second quarter of this year.
Officials indicated the latest reading is down just slightly, 0.1 week, from the first quarter. Moreover, the index was down 1.1 weeks when compared to last year, executives noted.
Including finance charges, Comerica found that the total cost of buying an average-priced light vehicle was $28,479 in the second quarter, which is flat from the previous year.
Executives went on to estimate that median family income has increased 4.2 percent from last year.
"The cost of buying and financing a new light vehicle did not change much in the second quarter," Dana Johnson, chief economist at Comerica Bank, reported. "The average amount spent on a new vehicle fell $50 in the second quarter after dropping $450 in the first.
"The average financing rate for a car loan edged up eight basis points to 4.86 percent," he continued. "With gasoline prices high and house prices weak, the typical consumer continued to opt for relatively affordable cars and light trucks last quarter."