WESTLAKE, CAThe average price of a new vehicle sold in May or June was $25,924, down four percent from a year ago and in between the average 2004 and 2005 prices. This price drop, the first year-over-year decline in the past five years, has been caused by both the shift to smaller, less-expensive vehicles and the price decline for larger vehicles as they lose favor with consumers, according to www.powerinfonet.com.

The typical large pickup price is down nine percent from a year ago and is near the 2005 average price. Bucking these trends, though, are large utilities, for which transaction prices have risen two percent from a year ago. These results are somewhat deceptive, as prices of all large utilities except the Sequoia are actually even or down. The transaction price of the redesigned 2008 Sequoia, which went on sale last December, is 13 percent higher than the price of its predecessor.