General Motors is raising car and light-truck prices for the fourth time in the 2004 model year, and the Chrysler group has made major reductions in the sticker prices of its 2005 minivans, which will arrive at dealerships soon.
Automotive News estimates that GM's increase will average about $115 per vehicle. It will bring GM's cumulative price increase to about $665 for the 2004 model year, but the increase is less than the hike in GM's rebates.
Since last summer, GM's cash rebates to buyers have risen $1,000 to $1,500.
Automotive News finds that GM's latest increase averaged $154 for Chevrolet cars and trucks, $131 for Buick, $104 for Pontiac, $99 for GMC and $85 for Oldsmobile. The Chevy boost breaks down into $104 for trucks and $50 for cars.
The Chrysler group took the opposite approach. It slashed 2005 minivan prices an average of $2,783, or 10 percent. The price cuts range from $2,525 to $3,395 on the Chrysler Town & Country and from $2,555 to $3,340 on the Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan.
New for 2005 is the Stow 'n Go seat and storage system - the second and third seats can be folded into the floor. The Stow 'n Go system forced the Chrysler group to drop the all-wheel-drive versions of those minivans.
Elsewhere in pricing, Subaru and Mercedes-Benz boosted the prices on most of their 2004 models, and Kia pinned stickers to its new Spectra sedans.
Subaru raised prices $125 on its Legacy, Impreza, Outback and Forester models. There was no increase on the Baja line.
Mercedes-Benz said it raised prices an average of 1.2 percent. That would be about $470.
Prices for the Kia Spectra sedans are $13,160 for the LX and $14,290 for the EX, including $540 freight. Full-length side-curtain airbags are standard equipment on both models.