DETROIT (AP) _ Chrysler Corp. has raised the base price on its Jeep Grand Cherokee by $500, or 2.2 percent, in an effort to offset surging material costs, a company spokesman said Thursday.

The base price of the Grand Cherokee will be $23,143, effective Dec. 23, up from an introductory 1995 price of $22,643, spokesman Steve Harris said.

Chrysler also hiked the price on two light truck models. The price on the Dodge Ram Work Special 1500 full-size pickup truck was increased $250 to $13,188. The price of the Dodge Dakota 4x4 Club Cab mid-size pickup truck was increased $100 to $18,192, Harris said.

The Chrysler increase follows similar moves by General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.

Last week, General Motors increased prices 0.7 percent, or $151, on certain 1995 models it said were priced below competition.

In early December, Ford raised prices on its Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle and its Lincoln Continental luxury sedan.

In November, Chrysler increased prices on its Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler sport-utility vehicles.

The latest increases were needed because of steeper material costs, including steel, Harris said. The increases are not expected to hurt the automaker's competitiveness against Japanese imports, he said.

U.S. cars have enjoyed a price advantage for more than a year because of the higher value of the yen against the dollar, which makes Japanese imports more expensive in the United States.