Japanese Cars Disappearing From New Car Lots

North Texas Car Dealers Begin To Feel The Effects Of March Earthquake

By Kevin Cokely
|  Monday, May 16, 2011  |  Updated 6:32 PM CDT
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Tsunami Affects Supply Of Japanese Cars

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Tsunami Affects Supply Of Japanese Cars

Japanese manufacturing was crippled by the massive earthquake and tsunami a couple months ago. This means less imported cars are currently available stateside.
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Two months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, many car dealers here in North Texas are starting to feel the effects and are running low on new Japanese-made cars.

At Frank Kent Honda in Fort Worth, salesmen haven't recieved any new cars since last month.

"Our allocations have been cut by 50 percent," said owner Will Churchill "Then for the month of May we didn't even get any allocation. So inventory levels are going to start coming down across the board."

Some people shopping for new cars are already concerned prices are about to shoot up.

"We were thinking, wondering how that would drive the price up," said Robert Hyde, of Grapevine. "Because the supply and demand. Less supply, more higher price."

Toyota cut North American production by more than two thirds, but now expects to resume full production on certain models in June.

Still, Japanese car dealers expect inventory levels to get worse before they get better.

"I think in June, July and August, with the lack of inventory coming in, we have inventory to keep us supplied to a moderate amount but not to the stocking levels we're used to," said Churchill. "I think what you're going to see is just the price of cars coming up."

Used car prices may also begin to rise, as more shoppers check out the pre-owned lots.

Churchill also said navigation systems and other high end electronics made in Japan are also becoming hard to get and will affect even American-made vehicles.

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