Jeep's average transaction price — up 29 percent from a year earlier to $50,332 in the first quarter, according to TrueCar — isn't likely to dip too much even if the chip shortage subsides and pricing for the market normalizes, said Nick Woolard, lead industry analyst at TrueCar.
Jeep has "been adding to that top end, so I think it's not going to come crashing down anytime soon, that's for sure," Woolard said. "That brand has been moving up for a while now."
Randy Dye, chairman of the Stellantis National Dealer Council, sees the fast-rising transaction prices as a sign the automaker is building what consumers want to buy.
Dye said tight inventory has caused his dealership, Daytona Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram in Daytona Beach, Fla., to miss out on a good number of deals each month because demand is outstripping supply. But some customers are deciding to order exactly what they desire, even if it takes time to get their vehicles.
Dealerships these days have to be good at selling what's on the lot, Dye said, but they need to be just as good at showing customers what they can get by ordering and waiting.
"We're not in the industry right now advertising the least-equipped model that you can find or make. That's not the one that people want to buy," Dye said. "I think that's driven the transaction up as well. The transaction prices have gone up because we're just buying a richer mix."