The purchase of an average- priced, new vehicle took 23.6 weeks of median family income in the third quarter, according to the Auto Affordability Index compiled by Detroit-based Comerica Bank. That is the third consecutive decline in our quarterly index, which is now down 2.8 weeks from the fourth quarter of 2005. Including finance charges, the total cost of buying an average-priced light vehicle was $26,500 in the third quarter, down 5 percent from a year ago. Median family income has risen about 5 percent over those same four quarters. “Rebates and cut-rate financing reduced the cost of buying a new car this past quarter,” said Dana Johnson, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “With median family incomes still trending up at a healthy pace, light vehicles were more affordable last quarter than at anytime since 1980.” This report incorporates the latest data on consumer spending on light vehicles and on the terms available on auto loans. Comerica Incorporated is a financial services company headquartered in Detroit, strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth & Institutional Management.