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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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Toyota’s Japanese Plants Set to Re-open

But maker will still operate at half capacity -- and only temporarily.

by on Apr.08, 2011

Not out of the woods, yet. Toyota will resume Japanese production only temporarily.

More than a month after Japan was wracked by a series of natural disasters – and the subsequent crisis at a nuclear plant – Toyota Motor Co. is preparing to reopen its home market plants.

The maker revealed today it will resume operations on April 18th through at least the 27th, but at only half the normal capacity of that expansive production network.  The 18 factories will then shut down again from April 28 through May 9, a traditionally holiday period in Japan.

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The industry giant reports it has lost about 260,000 units of production since its factories were shut down by the 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami that struck northeast Japan.  It is unclear how many additional units Toyota will lose due to maintaining a reduced production schedule.

And it remains unclear what the maker’s plans will be following the Golden Week holiday.  Toyota officials say they are slowly resolving problems related to parts shortages caused by the March 11 disaster.  But they still are facing problems with at least 150 parts and components.

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