By on January 20, 2010

up to 42% off

Update: It’s obvious I’m confusing as many or more folks with this post as I am enlightening some. As an addicted Economist reader, I enjoy unraveling the myths and stereotypes that Europeans pay $30k for a basic Ford Focus or pay $9 for a gallon of gas. We do, if we go there with our dollars. They don’t. The information below is intended as a set of tools to better understand the issues, but will not explain them all perfectly. I’ve run out of time to respond to comments, so I hope this helps. Or pick up an Economist :)

European new car prices can be as confusing to us Yanks as ordering from a menu in Latvia. We’re always hearing about tiny $29k econoboxes and the like. List prices are typically converted to US dollars, and the results can be very misleading. MSRPs are assumed to be more solid than ours. And the 19% VAT (value added tax) is not factored in. The result often is an assumption that European car manufacturers are getting ginormous prices for their little hatchbacks. Lets pull back the curtain of confusion and seek some truth. Like the Audi A3 shown above: if you factor in purchasing power parity, remove the (included) 19% tax, and factor in the 29% discount being offered, the equivalent US price is: $12,353. Allow me to explain: (Read More…)

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