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CHRYSLER RELEASES TEXT OF LETTER TO TREASURY SECRETARY ON ITS MINIVAN PRICING POLICY

 HIGHLAND PARK, Mich., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler Corporation (NYSE: C) today announced it plans to continue its policy of pricing minivans at or below the rate of inflation if the Clinton Administration reinstates a Customs Department ruling which classified imported multi- purpose vehicles (MPVs) as trucks.
 Imported MPVs are classified as trucks for safety, emissions, and fuel efficiency standards, but as cars for tariff purposes -- an inconsistency which costs the United States $300 million annually by allowing importers to pay a 2.5 percent tariff rather than the 25 percent tariff on imported trucks, Chrysler said.
 In 1989, the Customs Department, citing the inconsistency, classified the MPVs as trucks. But, in a move called unprecedented and arbitrary, the U.S. Treasury Department overruled Customs.
 Chrysler Chairman Robert J. Eaton, in a letter delivered to Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen on Feb. 11 but released publicly today, said, "If the Customs Department decision on MPV classification is reinstated, it would be Chrysler's intent to continue its policy of pricing at or below CPI" (Consumer Price Index).
 "We are committed to a $17.3 billion investment program over the next five years," Eaton said. "We expect to beat the competition in the market place, but we also expect the rules of competition not to be manipulated to our disadvantage as occurred in Treasury's overruling of the Customs decision."
 He refuted importers' claims that making the classification of MPVs consistent across the board would encourage domestic manufacturers to increase prices. When Toyota and Mazda raised minivan prices by an average of 12.6 percent in 1991, Eaton noted, the domestic industry kept prices below the rate of inflation and won back over seven points of market share.
 "This switch from imported Japanese minivans to North American-built minivans created additional U.S. jobs," he said.
 Since 1981, when the Japanese government instituted limits on vehicles exported to the United States, the Consumer Price Index has increased by 57 percent. U.S. auto companies' prices have increased at a significantly lower rate, 44 percent, while Japanese auto companies have increased prices by 79 percent.
 -0- 3/4/93 R
 /CONTACT: John Guiniven of Chrysler, 202-862-5409/
 (C)


CO: Chrysler Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

TS-GK -- NY077R -- 8213 03/04/93 15:17 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1993
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