Ford's 1999 prices to drop 0.3% 2nd straight year company has avoided increase


August 11, 1998|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

DEARBORN, Mich. -- Ford Motor Co., the world's second-largest automaker, said yesterday that its average price on 1999-model cars and trucks will be 0.3 percent lower than it was this model year.

It's the second year in a row that the company has avoided price increases. Chrysler Corp. has said that its average price on 1999 models will rise 0.1 percent.

Ford prices will fall an average 0.2 percent. Lincoln-Mercury prices will fall an average 0.7 percent. Under pressure from foreign rivals, U.S. automakers have cut costs to keep prices competitive.

Ford will cut the price of the Taurus LX by $1,000, to $17,995.

The automaker also said it will become the first U.S. automaker to eliminate charges for emissions equipment, which run about $170 in some states. In addition, its 1999 sport-utility vehicles will qualify as low-emissions vehicles and the Windstar minivan meets ultra-low emissions requirements.

"Our 1999-model cars and trucks are greener than ever," said Ford Division President Jim O'Connor in a statement.

Ford also said it will expand a simplified marketing approach to all light trucks except the popular Econoline and F-series Super-Duty trucks and vans. The company offers the most popular options packaged under its Ford Choice program at lower prices so that customers don't have to buy each option separately.

Part of the reason Ford can keep the prices steady or lower is that it trimmed automotive costs by $900 million in the second quarter of this year and by $1.3 billion in the first half.

Pub Date: 8/11/98

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