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Car Prices Tumble – Especially Japanese Products

Used vehicle prices also on the decline.

by on Jun.28, 2012

As the holiday approaches, motorists will be able to celebrate the decline in both new and used car prices.

The start of the typically strong summer buying season has brought with it some great news for U.S. car buyers.  According to a variety of sources, prices are tumbling on both new and used vehicles – especially those Japanese offerings that were in short supply last year in the week of that country’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

While prices vary by model and manufacturer, you can expect to pay about $500 less for the typical new car, truck or crossover than you would have for the same product a year ago, according to research by Kelly Blue Book.

Meanwhile, after a record run-up in pricing during the winter and spring, used car prices also appear to be on the decline.

Pricing News!

Some of the biggest discounts, the tracking firm reports, come on Japanese models like the Honda Civic and even the Toyota Prius.  But that may be a bit misleading.  Following the March 2012 natural disaster, most Japanese products were in short supply, leading makers to trim back rebates and other discounts – effectively raising prices.  Those givebacks are now getting back to more normal levels, Bob Carter, head of the Toyota division, tells


Toyota Sells 1 millionth Prius in U.S.

Demand up - but so are prices, as shortages loom.

by on Apr.06, 2011

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda with the Prius V hybrid during the Detroit Auto Show preview of the microvan.

Toyota Motor Sales has reported the one-millionth sale of the Toyota Prius, the first mass-produced gas-electric hybrid vehicle sold in the United States.

“Since the Prius went on sale eleven years ago not a year has gone by when it hasn’t been the number one selling hybrid vehicle in the U.S.,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager.

Prius has become synonymous with the word hybrid, Toyota suggest, and as fuel prices have risen again, it has garnered a full 60% of the American market for gas-electric vehicles — but prices have gone up sharply, along with demand and the crisis in Japan could soon leave the maker short of demand.

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Though Prius remains the leader, the executive noted, it is now facing more competition than ever. Today, 13 different brands offer some form of gas-electric model, and most of the remaining marques, such as Volvo, plan to enter the market with some sort of hybrid offering within the next several years.


Toyota Delaying Launch of Prius V, Preparing to Shut Some U.S. Plants

Parts shortages worsen in wake of quake, tsunami, nuclear disaster.

by on Mar.24, 2011

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda with the Prius V hybrid during the Detroit Auto Show preview of the microvan.

Still struggling to get its Japanese plants up-and-running, Toyota has now delayed the planned April launch of its all-new Prius V.  The maker has also warned workers it may soon be forced to temporarily idle some of its North American assembly lines.

The hybrid microvan was to begin the roll-out of an all-new brand-within-a-brand sharing the familiar Prius badge that currently graces the world’s most popular hybrid-electric vehicle.  At last January’s Detroit Auto Show, Toyota revealed several models that will also be badged Prius, including both the V, a smaller Prius C, and a plug-in hybrid based on the current Prius sedan.

But the home market roll-out of the Prius V is being delayed indefinitely as a result of the worsening shortage of Japanese-made parts.  Toyota plants in Japan have been out of operation since March 11, when the island nation was slammed by a devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

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The natural disaster damaged or destroyed a number of component plants and disrupted roads and rail supply lines.  Complicating matters, the crisis Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has created an energy shortage that has made it difficult to operate even those factories not directly impacted by the quake and tsunami.

Toyota officials continue to delay the restart of their Japanese plants and have meanwhile trimmed back production at their “transplant” North American assembly lines.  The maker is now advising workers here that some plants may need to be completely idled until the flow of Japanese parts can be resumed — or alternative sources found.