Are your car’s parts overpriced?

If your car is totaled and you need to take care of it yourself, do not sell the whole car to the junk yard. To make the most of money out of it, you should disassemble the car into different parts (for example engine, transmission, wheels, interior panels, stereos etc.), and sell them seperately. The total money you get from selling these parts will be way more than you selling the car as a whole.

If you have doubt, you can find out all the part numbers related to your car, and go to the dealership to check each parts’ individual price. Then you add them together, and you will find the total sum will be much higher than your car’s MSRP.

So here comes the term of¬†parts-whole ratio, which is defined to be: the sum of a car’s all individual seperate parts’ retail prices, divided by the MSRP of that car. The higher this ratio, the more possibility that the vehicle’s individual parts prices are relatively overpriced, compared to other cars.

As far as I know there is no public report to list this number for vehicles sold in the US market (and I bet car manufacturers and dealerships do not want you to know too). Yesterday, the Insurance Association of China released the first report showing the parts-whole ratios of many car models in the Chinese market. The price data is as of March 2014 and applied to Chinese market only. From the list we see there are some models are in US market too, the following data is for your reference:

Mercedes-Benz W204 C Class: 1273.31%
Toyota Yaris: 720.28%
BMW 320i: 661.74%
Toyota Corolla: 625.22%
Toyota Camry: 503.80%
Mercedes-Benz S500: 441.30%
Audi A6L: 411.27%
BYD F3: 409.02%
Lexus ES350: 408.47%
VW Bora: 404.06%
Nissan Tiida: 357.92%
Audi A4L: 351.25%
Honda Accord: 342.66%
Citroen C5: 308.82%
VW Passat: 306.95%
Buick Excelle: 272.75%
Hyundai Elantra: 271.62%

From the above data, it looks like the Mercedes-Benz C Class parts is really expensive in China, the 1273.31% means: if you bought a C Class, completely disassemble it; and you are able to sell all the individual parts with the retail price, then the money you collect is more than enough to buy another 12 new C classes . And surprisingly, for models that are imported from foreign countries (such as Mercedes-Benz S Class, Lexus ES350), their parts pricing looks more reasonable to us.

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