Chevy trucks get brunt of increase

DETROIT - Chevrolet added air conditioning to the base models of its Silverado pickups and posted many four-digit price hikes for 2002.

Chevrolet isn't giving away its cool cabs. Twenty of the 71 Silverado models are up $1,000 or more, and eight others rose $998.

Air was an $825 option on base 2001 Silverados. The upscale LS and LT models in the Silverado line are up $78 to $233, less than 1 percent above the final 2001 sticker prices.

The Silverado is Chevrolet's best-selling vehicle, accounting for 38.5 percent of the division's car and light-truck sales.

For 2002, the Silverado 1500 regular-cab models start at $17,888, including the $720 freight fee. For 2001, the price leader was $16,765.

Some Chevy trucks show little or no increase for 2002. Three Blazer sport-utilities rose $25 each, and the LS four-door four-wheel-drive was reduced $1,475. The TrailBlazer and Avalanche, mid-year additions to the lineup, did not go up.

Express full-sized vans jumped around. Two cargo vans went up only $3; three others jumped $1,003. All Express passenger vans climbed $157.

Increases on the Tahoe and Suburban sport-utilities were startling - $7,000 to $9,000 apiece. A Chevrolet spokesman explained that the 2001 models were stripped, but the 2002s are fully equipped.

You can reach John K. Teahen Jr. at autonews@crain.com

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