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Car Prices Tumble – Especially Japanese Products

Used vehicle prices also on the decline.

by on Jun.28, 2012

As the holiday approaches, motorists will be able to celebrate the decline in both new and used car prices.

The start of the typically strong summer buying season has brought with it some great news for U.S. car buyers.  According to a variety of sources, prices are tumbling on both new and used vehicles – especially those Japanese offerings that were in short supply last year in the week of that country’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

While prices vary by model and manufacturer, you can expect to pay about $500 less for the typical new car, truck or crossover than you would have for the same product a year ago, according to research by Kelly Blue Book.

Meanwhile, after a record run-up in pricing during the winter and spring, used car prices also appear to be on the decline.

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Some of the biggest discounts, the tracking firm reports, come on Japanese models like the Honda Civic and even the Toyota Prius.  But that may be a bit misleading.  Following the March 2012 natural disaster, most Japanese products were in short supply, leading makers to trim back rebates and other discounts – effectively raising prices.  Those givebacks are now getting back to more normal levels, Bob Carter, head of the Toyota division, tells TheDetroitBureau.com.

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Ready to Deal? Some Japanese Bargains Still to Be Found

Despite shortages, some Asian models still a bargain.

by on Jun.15, 2011

Despite shortages, there are some surprising bargains on Japanese products, such as the 2011 Honda Accord.

Think you’ll be paying thousands more for a new Japanese car due to the current shortages? Not necessarily — at least not if you’re ready to do your homework.

The Japanese earthquake of March 11 has played havoc with the auto industry, as most anyone who has shopped for a Toyota, Honda or Nissan, in recent weeks can attest to.

Though production is slowly returning to normal, most Japanese makers have had to curtail factory operations due to parts shortages, since the disaster struck.  In the near-term, manufacturers will likely fall more than a million vehicles short of their original production plans.

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That has translated not only into shortages of popular models, like the new 2012 Honda Civic, but into sharply higher prices.  The data service Edmunds estimates that American shoppers are now paying nearly $3,000 more for a Toyota Prius than they did before the earthquake.

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Auto Prices Spiking as Incentives Tumble

Japanese parts shortage masks other increases.

by on May.16, 2011

Prices of the old Honda Civic were rising even before the launch of the 2012 model.

Good new or bad, it depends on whether you’re making or selling a car, but one thing indisputable is that the price of the typical new car, truck and crossover has been rising fast this year.

Motorists, used to finding great deals during a long and deep recession, will likely be surprised to see vehicles not just costing more than a year ago, but in some cases several thousand dollars more than just a few months ago, based on industry tracking data.

The biggest and most immediate factor is the vehicle shortage created by the natural disaster that struck Japan on March 11.  But makers are also beginning to pass on some of the higher costs they are paying for essential commodities and – in some cases, simply betting that an improving U.S. automotive market will allow them to reduce incentives and raise prices.

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“The current environment will set the industry up for very strong pricing,” said Rod Lache, auto analyst with Deutsche Bank. In April, he estimated, U.S. automakers were already getting from $700 to $1,000 more than they did the year before.

The makers will take the extra money any way they can, though they have generally held back on outright price increases.  Toyota, for example, put in place a relatively modest hike, at the beginning of May, running to just over 2%.  But according to data from TrueCar.com, some of the maker’s models, such as the Prius, are delivering Average Transaction Prices, or ATPs, of as much as $3,000 more than what they went for at just the beginning of 2011.

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