Buick, Oldsmobile, Ford and Jeep stepped into the price arena with new models and/or higher stickers on cars already in their lineups.
Buick added $330 to its Regal LS and LSE sedans and made a six-way power seat for the driver standard equipment. It was a $330 option. For the buyer who wants a power seat, it's a wash. For the buyer who does not want a power seat, it's a $330 price hike.
The new Oldsmobile Aurora, which goes on sale in February, will be $30,800 with a 3.5-liter V-6 and $34,975 with a 4-liter, 32-valve V-8. The prices include the $670 destination charge. Oldsmobile calls them 2001 models.
The Aurora is new. It succeeds the Eighty Eight V-6 (top 1999 model was $29,720) and the Aurora V-8 (1999 model was $36,899), but it is not a direct replacement for those cars.
Oldsmobile also added $195 to its Silhouette Premiere minivan. It's now $32,395 with destination charge.
Ford Division raised stickers on all its cars, and the hikes ranged from $25 to $120. On the Taurus and Focus, the boosts included a $25 bump in the destination charge. Freight charges on other Ford cars rose $25 last September.
Ford also placed a sticker of $12,415 on its 2000 Escort sedan. It's $495 more than the final price of the 1999 Escort LX sedan, but the 2000 version includes an AM/FM stereo cassette radio and a rear-window defroster, which were $375 extra last year. Another $25 of the increase comes from a hike in the freight fee.
Jeep price increases are $30 to $200 on the Wrangler, $155 to $235 on the Cherokee and $195 on the Grand Cherokee.