GENERAL MOTORS IS DESIGNING what it calls its "L Body" for some 1979 model cars. The L Body will be a new line of compact cars replacing the present Nova, Camaro and other such small cars. The L Body cars will be following GM's 1978 introduction of J Body cars. These will be re­placements for the present intermediate size cars. GM is also expected to switch its new T Body (Chevette) and H Body (Vega) and HS Body (Monza) cars to front wheel drive in 1979-80 as well.

CHRYSLER HAS EMBARKED ON A $1.5 BILLION long range program to redesign all its cars by 1980. The program calls for new but smaller intermediate and standard size cars in 1979-80. The pro­gram started this year with the introduction of the Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volare. The next phase is the domestic subcompact. It will be about 170 inches long, built on a 100-inch wheelbase and weigh slightly more than 2,000 pounds.

NISSAN MOTOR RAISES PRICES OF '76 DATSUNS an average of $179 or 4.9-percent from the previous 1975 listings. A Nissan spokesman said the base price on the biggest selling small car, the B-210 two-door, will rise $155, or 5.4-percent, to $3,084. The model 710 sedan will rise $145, or 4.8-percent to $3,164. The company's 280-Z sports car rose to $6,594 up $310, or 4.9-percent.

VOLKSWAGEN'S LONG SYMBOLIZED LOW-PRICED TRANSPORTATION BEETLE will take the company out of the competitive bottom end of the U.S. car market. The company announced that it is raising base prices on its 1976 models.