by Wolf Richter
A total mind-blower. Actual prices skyrocket even as CPI for new vehicles has been flat for 22 years.
I started stirring the pot a few weeks ago with the Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in the US. I compared Camry LE prices for the model years from 1990 through 2020 (now in showrooms) and found that the base MSRP increased by 70% while the CPI for new vehicles increased by only 22%, and more disturbingly, that this 22% increase happened entirely between 1990 and 1997, and that since then, the CPI for new vehicles has been flat with a dip in between. Now I’m going to do the same analysis with the best-selling vehicle of all times in the US, the Ford F-150 pickup truck. And you know what is coming: a total mind-blower.