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Posts Tagged ‘japan car shortages’

Hyundai Making Long-Term Gains as Japanese Struggle

But it’s unclear if Koreans are picking up much short-term business during Japanese shortages.

by on Jun.16, 2011

Hyundai products, like the new Elantra, appear well-positioned to pick up sales from struggling Japanese brands.

The shortage of key Japanese products, such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic, appears to be having a big impact on the established automotive order.

After years as an also-ran in the compact market, for example, Chevrolet’s new Cruze has been outselling traditional segment leaders Civic and Toyota Corolla.  Meanwhile, Hyundai can barely keep up with demand for its own new compact, the Elantra, which has seen sales more than double over the last year.

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While company officials seem loathe to be seen as taking advantage of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, crippling that nation’s auto industry, analysts believe that the Korean maker is particularly well-positioned to benefit from the disaster.

“The Koreans are clearly in the best position” to benefit , suggested analyst David Sullivan, of the research and consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc.


May Expected to Show Sales Slump

Shortages, lower incentives, rising fuel prices and uncertain economy all take some blame.

by on Jun.01, 2011

Rising prices, reduced incentives -- and shortages -- of popular Japanese products like the Prius had a harsh impact on May car sales.

It’s been a good year for the U.S. auto industry – or at least it was until last month, most manufacturers expected to report a slump in sales when they report May numbers this week.

Industry analysts blame a variety of factors for the downturn – which occurred during the month that normally marks the start of the annual spring buying season – notably including a shortage of Japanese-made products, the result of the March 11 natural disaster that devastated that country’s auto industry.

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In turn, makers have responded by trimming back rebates and other sales incentives – and when you add in the price hikes many manufacturers have taken in recent months, many potential buyers have decided to wait and see if better deals could follow later in the year, according to industry analysts.

“Overall automaker incentives (in May were) at the lowest levels we’ve seen in years,” said Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis at “These low incentives are making it increasingly difficult for consumers to find good deals.”


May New Car Sales Off to “Dismal” Start

Shortage of Japanese products part of the problem.

by on May.20, 2011

Sales have taken a tumble at dealerships around the U.S. in recent weeks.

After months of steady growth, the U.S. new car market appears to be taking a nosedive in May, according to observers tracking traffic at the country’s dealer showrooms.

The “dismal” start appears to be the result of a variety of factors, according to a preliminary reports by J.D. Power and Associates, including a sharp cutback in rebates and other incentives.  But many potential buyers also appear to be holding back because of a worsening shortage of Japanese vehicles.

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The industry picture isn’t entirely gloomy, however. Demand for used cars is skyrocketing, with price increases hitting never-before-seen levels, as reports.  (Click Here for that story.)

The soaring cost of fuel is another factor impacting the new car market, according to Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates. “As a result, the industry will likely be dealing with a lower sales pace at least through the summer selling season, putting pressure on the 2011 outlook.”


Detroit, Korean Makers Are Likely Winners as Car Sales Rebound

New study also warns that small car sales may be limited by America’s obesity epidemic.

by on May.17, 2011

Products like the Ford Focus could pick up share from Japanese makers as the American market recovers, says a new study.

Despite the shortages facing Japanese automakers like Toyota and Nissan, the U.S. new car market appears poised to experience steady sales growth after one of the worst downturns since the Great Depression.

But this rising tide, at least, won’t float all boats equally, cautions research firm A.T. Kearney.  It  predicts 13.2 million new autos will be sold in the U.S. this year, a roughly 50% increase from the depths of the 2009 downturn.  But as many as two points of market share once controlled by the Japanese carmakers could be up for grabs in the next few months – with Detroit and Korean makers in a good position to benefit at the expense of their struggling rivals.

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A variety of factors, including fuel prices, could impact the pace of the recovery, while also determining the sort of vehicles American motorists consider, the study indicates.  But those who expect a big gain for small car sales could come up short, Kearney analysts warn, pointing to America’s obesity epidemic.


Toyota Ups Production – And Prices

Japanese makers and dealers taking advantage of anticipated shortages.

by on Apr.15, 2011

The Lexus RX450h has jumped nearly $3,000 in price since the beginning of the year.

After taking a 10-day break for the annual “Golden Week” holiday, Toyota plans to get its Japanese plants back into production, it says, though at a rate well below normal.

According to various estimates, Japanese makers have already lost at least 500,000 units of production due to the disaster that struck the country on March 11, killing tens of thousands and devastating Japan’s industrial infrastructure.  Production has also been impacted at so-called “transplant” assembly lines in North America, Europe and other parts of the world, Toyota, for one, planning sharp cuts in U.S. operations.

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The anticipated shortage of Japanese-made product is translating into a big increase in what American car buyers are paying, especially for high-demand models, such as the Toyota Prius, according to various groups tracking dealer pricing.

“Lexus is one the brands that’s being heavily affected because there was already tight supply before the crisis and there’s no new shipment coming in the foreseeable future. The same can also be said for both Acura and Infinti but to a lesser extent,” noted analyst Jess Toprak, of


Would You Wait for a Japanese Car?

Toyota, other makers could be hurt if production delays lead to product shortages.

by on Mar.16, 2011

Honda buyers are among the most likely to wait out a product shortage, says CNW research.

How much do you really want that new sedan?  Would you sit tight for that sports car?  Will you wait several months for that big SUV?

Japan’s continuing crisis has already resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of new cars, trucks and crossovers, whether damaged by Friday’s massive earthquake, the subsequent tsunami, or simply through lost production, most Japanese automakers unsure when they’ll be able to get their assembly operations back up-and-running.

Even in the U.S., the natural disaster’s effects are being felt, Subaru halting production at its Indiana plant, while Toyota cuts all overtime.  And, now, even some Detroit makers could feel the pinch if shortages of Japanese-made parts begin to develop. (Find out more…Click Here.)

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“The impact of this has yet to unfold,” Mark Reuss, president of General Motors’ North American operations cautioned today, stressing that the quake’s impact on the Japanese supplier network could be “bigger than anyone knows today.”

One test will come if consumers begin to experience product shortages at the dealer level.  American buyers have traditionally preferred to buy whatever they can find on a dealer lot, rather than placing a custom order that might take weeks, even months, to come through.

So, will buyers who can’t find what they want go somewhere else?