Ford hikes '02 prices again

DETROIT - Buick joined the latest round of price increases by General Motors, and Ford Motor Co. has hiked the stickers on most Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars. It is the second increase of the 2002 model year for each of the makers.

The Buick boost averaged $102 on cars, Automotive News found. It was held down because the price of the LeSabre, Buick's best-selling nameplate, was not increased. Earlier, Buick raised prices an average of $290, so its cars are an average of $392 higher than at the end of the 2001 model year.

Automotive News estimates are sales-weighted, but they are not adjusted for 2001 optional equipment that is standard for 2002.

For the 2002 model year to date, GM's car prices are up an average of $410, or 1.8 percent. Saturn has had one price hike for 2002; the other makes have had two.

In its second price boost of the 2002 model year, Ford raised the stickers of all cars except the Ford Thunderbird and the Mercury Cougar. The hikes ranged from $30 to $205.

Sales-weighted advances averaged $100 for Ford Division, $200 for Lincoln and $94 for Mercury. The average for the three makes of cars was $109, Automotive News found.

Ford's earlier increase averaged $162, thus its overall hike on 2002 cars is $271, or about 1.2 percent, according to Automotive News. As in the case of GM, the figure is not adjusted for year-to-year equipment changes.

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

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