DETROIT - The Chrysler group kept pace with Ford Motor Co. by raising prices for the fifth time in the 2003 model year. Both makers are far ahead of General Motors, which has raised stickers only three times this model year.
Like Ford’s, Chrysler’s increase was a desperate attempt to amass money to pay the high incentives that GM has imposed on the Big 3.
Also like Ford’s, Chrysler’s effort fell far short of the mark. Automotive News estimates that the latest Chrysler increase averaged a paltry $72. Current rebates on Chrysler group cars and light trucks range from $1,000 to $4,500, and interest rates start at 0 percent.
By makes, the average increases for the Chrysler group were: Chrysler cars, $100; Chrysler minivans, zero; Dodge cars, $110; Dodge trucks, $39; Jeeps, $114. The figures are the result of a model-by-model analysis by Automotive News. All are sales-weighted.
Chrysler group also raised the freight charge on some models. The biggest boost was $55 on the Dodge Ram pickups. The fee now is $795, the same as on Ford’s F-series pickups and $5 more than on the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.