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2 roads to price cuts

Two news stories last week seem to go a long way toward explaining why import brands continue to take U.S. market share from the Big 3.

In one, Chrysler group disclosed that it’s preparing to cut prices on a broad range of vehicles. The mechanism: It will remove equipment from many models and trim dealer profit margins. Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. announced that the prices of the redesigned 2002 Camry will be 3 percent to 7 percent lower than the 2001 models. But in contrast to the vehicles in Chrysler’s strategy, the new Camry is bigger, has a more powerful engine and is far better equipped than the car it replaces.

You can bet car shoppers will notice, too.

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