Dodge Viper gets 4-digit price hike

DETROIT - The Chrysler group has posted four-figure price hikes on its Dodge Viper sports cars, and Ford Division has kept the price pot bubbling with $25 hikes on all Focus models.

Neither will have much effect on the overall price level of U.S. cars. The Viper's volume is only about 100 per month, and the Focus increase is strictly small change.

But the Ford boost is more evidence of the price tinkering that goes on in the Big 3. This is Ford Division's third price action of the 2002 model year, and the model year is just two months old. General Motors is on its second set of 2002 car and light-truck prices.

Chrysler can plead "not guilty" this time. The Viper increase is its 2002 introductory hike.

Viper prices are $76,000 (up $3,000) for the GTS coupe and $75,500 (up $5,500) for the RT/10 roadster. The figures include the $775 destination charge but not the $3,000 gas-guzzler tax.

2002 Focus prices start at $12,960, including $490 freight. The top model, the ZTW four-door wagon, has a sticker of $18,250.

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

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