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Houston Area Auto Dealers Reeling in Wake of Hurricane Harvey

Storms and flooding will provide short-term economic boost.

by on Aug.31, 2017

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said 17 company dealerships are shut down due to Harvey and he's unsure when they'll reopen. Photo credit: CNBC.

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the U.S. and one of the largest markets for new vehicles so when it’s shut down by a massive hurricane and record rainfall it’s a big deal for the car business.

Fiat Chrysler, General Motors and Hyundai are already offering modest discounts on new vehicles purchased as replacements for cars, trucks and utility vehicles wrecked by the storm or floods.

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The discounts range from $500 to $750 but it’s not clear that that dealers around Houston are ready to handle the post-hurricane traffic just yet. (more…)

Hurricane Harvey Hammers Auto Industry, Motorists Across U.S.

Gas prices surge as refineries close; up to 500,000 vehicles destroyed.

by on Aug.30, 2017

Experts believe Harvey will have destroyed twice as many vehicles as Superstorm Sandy.

After turning back out to sea and regaining strength, what’s left of Hurricane Harvey slammed back into the Gulf Coast early Wednesday, promising to further the devastation it has also wreaked on large portions of coastal Texas.

What is now a tropical storm ran ashore near the Louisiana-Texas border, an area where a major share of U.S. petroleum refineries operate. The country’s largest, the Motiva facility in Port Arthur, Texas, began shutting down “in response to increasing local flood conditions,” the refinery announced. It isn’t expected to reopen until flood waters recede – which could take time considering “the whole city is underwater right now,” Port Arthur Mayor Derrick Freeman said in an overnight post on Facebook.

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The second coming of Harvey is likely to mean further devastation from an automotive standpoint. Already, authorities estimate that as many as 500,000 vehicles have been destroyed by the storm, some by wind damage but most due to flooding. That is expected to start driving up used car prices across the country though it could also help boost demand for new vehicles at a time when the U.S. new car market had been falling into a slump. (more…)