DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. raised its car prices by an average of 2.9% Friday but announced new buyer incentives, including loans at 6.9% to 9.9% interest or cash bonuses of up to $600.
Ford said it acted to match industry leader General Motors Corp. while still maintaining profits.
GM last Sunday announced interest rates of 5.9% to 8.9% on most cars and many light trucks.
"We tried very hard to continue to hold the line on car prices for the balance of the 1986 model year but have concluded it is not practical to do so," Louis E. Lataif, Ford vice president for North American sales operations, said.
Lataif said the increases still leave Ford prices well below those of Japanese competitors, which have raised prices several times this year because of the rising value of the yen.
The increases follow an average 2.9% increase by Ford in September, 1985, at the start of the 1986 model year. GM increased prices in April, but Chrysler Corp., the No. 3 U.S. auto maker, has held its prices since last fall.
Friday's increases range from $179 on the Ford Tempo GL four-door to $939 on the Lincoln Continental Givenchy, Ford said.
The percentage increases range from 2.4% on the Tempo GL, now listed at $7,687, to 3.5% on the Continental Givenchy, now selling for $27,899.
The lowest-priced Escort L three-door went up 2.9% and now lists for $6,513, Ford said.
The cut-rate interest and bonuses take effect Sunday and will cover most Ford cars and trucks, Ford said. They apply to vehicles purchased from dealer stocks by Oct. 1.