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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.

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Prices Already on Rise for Japanese Cars, Trucks

GM shuts plant in Louisiana; loss of hybrid plant could impact Prius supplies.

by on Mar.18, 2011

Storm clouds on the horizon? With a battery supplier down, could Toyota be facing a Prius shortage - and rising prices for buyers?

If you’ve got your eye on a new Japanese car, truck or crossover, you may need to stretch your budget a bit more than you anticipated.  A number of online services that track automotive pricing report that Asian makers and their dealers are already beginning to curb incentives and even raise prices in the wake of the earthquake-fueled crisis that has all but shut down the Japanese auto industry.

While makers such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda say they have adequate supplies available for U.S. customers, the situation clearly depends on which product you’re looking for.  With fuel prices at two-year highs, demand was already on the rise, prior to the quake, for hybrids and other high-mileage vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Fit.

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And with most of the automotive assembly plants in Japan still closed, vehicle shortages are mounting.  Things are a bit better here, where only Subaru has halted operations at its Indiana-based “transplant” assembly line due to parts shortages.  But analysts worry that more transplants could soon feel the impact.

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