Autos: The Price of Safety

President Johnson sounded almost apologetic in his protest. "I had hoped," he said, "that these businessmen could have forgone the necessity of increasing prices." But the fact that automakers would up prices on their 1967 models had long been accepted by insiders. Last week Germany's Volkswagen led the way, announcing that the East Coast port-of-entry price for the modest Beetle would jump from $1,585 to $1,639. Then, in rapid order, came Ford, with an average $107 hike; Chrysler, with a $92 boost, and General Motors, with a lower and more competitive $53 increase.

The U.S. automen insisted that the increases...

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