DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC is raising prices on all 2009 model vehicles by an average of $500.
Steven Landry, executive vice president for North America sales, broke the news to auto dealers during his monthly sales call yesterday. The price increase does not affect 2009 model vehicles that dealers have ordered already or those that are on dealership lots.
Chrysler also raised its shipping charge about $50 per vehicle.
The news came as Chrysler Financial raised interest rates on floorplan loans that dealers obtain to finance their inventories of new vehicles.
The price increases come at an awkward time for Chrysler LLC dealers, who are coping with slumping sales, tight credit and high gasoline prices. Chrysler LLC sales dropped nearly 33 percent in September compared with the same period a year earlier.
Chryslers rivals also are boosting prices. This fall, General Motors raised its 2009 sticker prices by an average $790, or 2.7 percent. And if a couple of price increases in April and May are included, GMs 2009 sticker prices are $1,150 higher than a year earlier.
Ford Motor Co. has raised its 2009 sticker prices by an average $712, or 2.6 percent.
Chuck Eddy, owner of Bob and Chuck Eddy Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep in Austintown, Ohio, and a member of the national dealer council, said Chrysler has done a good job holding the line on prices.
This is still way less than GM or Ford, he said. Weve hardly had any price increase. I dont think theyve increased it enough. So its about time."