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.
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.