Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Christopher Knittel of UC Davis made this graph of trends in the Honda Accord’s weight, horsepower, torque and fuel economy since its introduction. His entire report Automobiles on Steroids: Product Attribute Trade-Offs and Technological Progress in the Automobile Sector is available for download in PDF format from UC Davis. The data kind of speaks for itself though, doesn’t it?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Jthorner Jthorner on Jul 23, 2009

    This all happened when the CAFE rules went into a deep freeze in the mid-80s.

  • Greg Locock Greg Locock on Jul 23, 2009

    I have been working on the same platform for 18 years. In that time the /base/ model has gained IRS 280 kg 6 speed auto instead of 5 speed manual HVAC instead of a heater CD 6 speaker system instead of 2 speaker radio 50% more power 16 inch wheels instead of 14s the body is twice as stiff in torsion airbags big brakes electric glass, electric seats, elctric mirrors big improvements in emissions and five star crash etc etc The price has increased by 50% in dollar terms, almost exactly the same as inflation, 2.6 %pa (part of that is tax changes of course). In normal use I don't think the fuel consumption has shifted much (it might be a little better), the performance certainly has.

  • PeteMoran PeteMoran on Jul 23, 2009
    i can’t blame the manufacturers - they are merely giving the consumer what he wants he wants a close to 4,000lb 5 star NCAP car with all the trimmings now every manufacturer has bloat… the BMW 3 is now about the size of the old BMW 5 (or even bigger) There is some truth in that, but it's not the main reason why manufacturers do it. It enables them to better preserve the previous model's resale, and introduce a newer model below that as a brand entry point. Notice the progression of; BMW 5, 3 and now 1 series, or Toyota Camry, Corolla, Yaris. If the new model delivered less "value" than the outgoing, as in making it hard to put through a price rise with the new model, it damages the previous model's resale, and the economics of the industry. @ Pch101 Since 1946, consumption dollars devoted to fuel has comprised an average of 3.2% of total consumption, with a standard deviation of 0.6%, so it hasn’t varied much over time. Could you provide the source for this data? How does it compare to the rise in real (inflation adjusted) disposable income?
  • Pch101 Pch101 on Jul 23, 2009
    Could you provide the source for this data? It's from the BEA. You'll have to use the table creation feature to turn that into a spreadsheet that includes the appropriate years, and then calculate the percentage from there. How does it compare to the rise in real (inflation adjusted) disposable income? My point was more about ratio of relative nominal consumption, independently of the CPI, so I didn't look at that. However, you can get the information here: