General Motors has been making most of the noise about value pricing, but Ford Motor Co. was the big player when it came time to paste stickers on 2006 cars and light trucks.
Value pricing is the new buzz term in automotive stickering. It is an effort to bring sticker prices closer to transaction prices and, thereby, reduce the huge rebates of recent years. It requires reductions - sometimes major reductions - in sticker prices.
It is GM's ballgame, but Ford took home the honors. An Automotive News analysis finds that for 2006 introduction, Ford Motor Co. reduced its sticker prices an average of $506 per vehicle, compared with a cut of $300 for GM. Ford's price cut averaged 1.6 percent; GM's was 1.1 percent.
Those are "for now" numbers. Both companies will revise their stickers several more times as the 2006 model year rolls along. In the 2005 model year, each of them raised prices five times. GM's boosts totaled $496; Ford's added up to $648.
This is the first intro price cut for GM and Ford since World War II ended in 1945. Since then - in good times and bad, in recession or boom, come rain or come shine - the makers have managed to raise their prices every year.
Value pricing debuts this year, and it will not have an easy time since it comes on the heels of the summer promotion in which the domestic makers sold new cars and trucks to everyone at employee prices, which are less than dealer cost.
Value pricing, good as it may be, can't match that.
For 2006, Ford Division raised its Mustang, Five Hundred and Crown Victoria cars but cut prices on just about all trucks. And trucks account for more than 70 percent of Ford brand sales. The biggest slash was $3,900 on an Explorer Eddie Bauer model. Ford Division shows an average price cut of $559.
Lincoln reduced the LS sedan and Navigator SUV and wound up with a net reduction of $224. At Mercury, raises on Montego and Grand Marquis cars and cuts on the Monterey minivan and Mountaineer SUV just about balanced each other, leaving Mercury with an average increase of $10.
You may e-mail John K. Teahen Jr. at