DETROIT - Chevrolet is using a price increase to fight a sales decline.
The division has raised prices $100 to $150 on six of its eight car lines. Chevy's car sales were down 17.2 percent in the first three months of this year.
The increase involved 12 of Chevrolet's 24 car models. The increases amounted to $100 on the Metro and Prizm, $100 on Cavalier coupes and $150 on the Malibu, Lumina and Monte Carlo.
Four of those six nameplates carry customer rebates. The givebacks are $750 on the Metro and Lumina and $1,000 on the Monte Carlo and Cavalier coupes (see table on Page 50).
This is General Motors' 13th price action since the 1998 models were introduced Oct. 1. The increases have been moderate. Automotive News estimates they total $40 when spread across GM's fleet of cars and light trucks on a sales-weighted basis.
GM raised prices an average of $291 at 1998 introduction time. GM's increase for the model year to date is $331, or 1.5 percent, according to Automotive News.
Chevrolet also announced a price cut of $1,294 on its S10 electric pickup truck. It's now $32,995, including the $510 destination charge. The vehicle has been on the market for two years, and about 360 have been sold.
Chevy's action answered Ford, which priced its Ranger electric pickup at $33,305 on April 12.
The electric pickups carry the highest rebates in the industry - $5,000 on the Ranger and $4,500 on the S10.
Mercury revised the price of its Cougar V-6 coupe that goes on sale May 7. The new tag is $17,095, including destination charge; it had been $18,495. Some equipment was removed and placed in an extra-cost Sport option package.
The four-cylinder Cougar stays at $16,595; automatic transmission has been removed from the option list on the I-4 model.