DALLAS/May 8, 2009 – The purchase of an average-priced new vehicle took only 21.5 weeks of median family income in the first quarter 2009, according to Comerica Bank’s Auto Affordability Index. This reading is down 1.3 weeks from the prior quarter and is the lowest on record (index started in 1979). Median family income fell in the first quarter, but the total vehicle cost of buying and financing a new car fell more sharply than income, reflecting sharply falling interest rates on car loans. The total cost of buying an average-priced light vehicle fell to $26,000 in the first quarter, down $1,700 from the prior quarter.
MP: Just like falling home prices are helping the real estate market to recover and heal, the highest auto affordability in history should help the ailing auto industry to recover and heal.