News & Resources

Japan disaster could drive up auto prices

Mar 28, 2011 Brian Bradley

As Japan continues to recover from the earthquake, tsunami and threats of nuclear meltdown, car dealers in the United States are taking advantage of expected shortages on hybrids and other models, and raising prices.
 Disruptions to car exports and parts manufacturing in Japan may mean buyers have to pay sticker prices, rather than receiving discounts that are typical for makers such as Toyota and Honda, The Associated Press reports. Car salesmen may be less likely to cut deals or agree to further negotiations on auto financing or interest rates, the newswire reports. While domestic auto makers may see a gain from the foreign-car shortage, their operations could also be affected by disruptions in the supply chain for certain parts, according to Fox Business. While car prices may climb again, consumers are turning to the internet for payment solutions. A recent survey by Kelley Blue Book found that more new-car shoppers who plan to finance some or all of their purchase are researching finance options online. Of the consumers who plan to finance their next car, 44 percent said they would seek pre-approval from banks or credit unions, and 43 percent planned to get financing from the dealership. Only 3 percent said they sought pre-approval because of a poor consumer credit report.