The Automotive News price analysis includes 1,544 of the 1,566 car and light-truck models on sale in the United States.
Omitted are exotic brands whose sales are low and whose price swings do not reflect the market as a whole. Those brands include Ferrari, Lotus, Aston Martin, Maserati, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Maybach.
The analysis covers 99.9 percent of the cars and light trucks sold in the United States last year.
The study compares current sticker prices with those that were in effect last May. Each number in the study is sales-weighted. That means every price is accorded the value represented by its share of the market.
For example, The Ford F-series pickup last year accounted for 29.3 percent of Ford Division sales, 26.0 percent of Ford Motor domestic sales, 8.4 percent of Big 3 domestic sales and 5.1 percent of industry sales.
The F-series' sticker price increase for the 2004 model year was $246. That figure was applied to each of the four market shares to determine the impact of the F-series price increase on each segment.
Major items of optional equipment that were made standard for 2004 are not considered price increases. If a major item of equipment was deleted, it is counted as a price increase.