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Fall-out from Japanese Auto Shutdown Spreading

“Not a matter of if, but when” all automakers worldwide will be impacted, warns analyst.

by on Mar.21, 2011

Buyers are paying an extra $1,800 for the Toyota Prius, one analyst reports.

It’s only a matter of time until the global auto industry feels the full shock of the Japanese auto industry shutdown, according to a new study.  But the impact is already spreading, General Motors cutting production at a second U.S. plant due to a shortage of Japanese-made parts, while Honda tells U.S. dealers it may not be able to fill their orders due to production delays.

There are already signs that prices are going up on Japanese-badged vehicles, and some of the most high-demand models, such as the Toyota Prius, could be impacted most severely should the situation continue for more than a few weeks, analysts and industry insiders warn.

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Meanwhile, in their struggle to re-start home market production, some makers may turn to foreign sources for traditionally Japanese-made parts.  Nissan, in particular, is considering the need to ship engines produced in Tennessee back to Japan for use on some of its assembly lines.

“It is not a matter of if, but when,” warned Michael Robinet, chief of auto research IHS Global Insight, before the near-complete shutdown of the Japanese auto industry is felt by every major automaker worldwide.