Bureau of Labor Statistics

Value of quality changes averages $82.96 in 2004 model-year cars

November 18, 2003

The retail equivalent value of quality changes for a 15-unit sample of 2004 model-year domestic passenger cars averaged $82.96.

Average retail equivalent value of quality changes, 2004 model cars
[Chart data—TXT]

The $82.96 estimated retail value of quality changes break down as follows:

  • $24.00 for powertrain improvements;
  • $37.16 for federally mandated and non-mandated safety improvements such as changes to brake and airbags systems; and
  • $21.80 for other quality changes such as emission improvements, theft protection, changes in audio systems, and changes in levels of standard or optional equipment.

The average retail equivalent value of these quality changes—$82.96—is 17.8 percent of the average $467.28 over-the-year increase in manufacturers’ suggested list prices.

These data are produced by the BLS Producer Price Index program. Additional information is available in "Report on Quality Changes for 2004 Model Vehicles," news release USDL 03-721 (PDF 109K).


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Value of quality changes averages $82.96 in 2004 model-year cars at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2003/nov/wk3/art02.htm (visited January 16, 2022).


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