Retail Prices Can be Telling
The price for conventional passenger car motor oil (PCMO) at the leading big box retailer increased by 10.3% from the summer of 2011 to December 2013. Synthetic engine oils increased by 16.6%, as shown below.
Interestingly, while the retail price of synthetic motor oils are enjoying robust growth, the retail price of high-mileage motor oils seem to be leveling off. Also of note, the retail price for the store brand has increased significantly over the past two years in all three product tiers.