Buying Japanese Cars After Recent Quake

The weak economy is prompting analysts to reevaluate their predictions for auto sales this year. The Los Angeles Times reports that there are many people who have postponed purchases of new Japanese cars because they’re afraid of the uncertain economic climate. Some of these consumers who either want or need new vehicles are instead purchasing Japanese used cars.

For certain Japanese auto makers, there has been an increase in inventory as a result of the recovery of Japanese automakers from the March 11 earthquake in Japan. Due to lower car prices, the quarter of the year is expected to revive sales lost earlier in 2011.

However, The Wall Street Journal reports that Honda Motor Co.’s U.S. dealers have announced they are going through difficult times due to the Japan quake. In fact, the automaker and distributer of Japanese used cars for sale is not producing new cars as fast as rivals Toyota and Nissan. Honda has acknowledged that it will take some time before new cars arrive on dealer lots.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Honda’s U.S. sales dropped 28 percent in July and the automaker ended the month with 84,705 vehicles, “enough to last 27 days at the current rate of sales, according to Autodata Corp.” The data could indicate that consumers will have a better chance at purchasing a used car at a Japanese used car auction. The Journal also reports that supplies of certain popular models are very low. For example, Honda has an 18-day supply of Civics and a 23-day supply of CR-Vs.

On the other hand, Toyota has 172,542 vehicles ready to go, a 34-day supply. Furthermore, Nissan has 174,537 vehicles in stock, enough to last 54 days. If consumers are especially interested in a brand new Japanese car import, they may have a better chance at Toyota and Nissan.

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