Japan Production Slowdown Driving Used Car Values Up

Apr 14, 2011


If you’re looking to buy new vehicles or offload old ones, take a look at this article from USA Today before making a move:

Used car prices — already rising — could soar as buyers are driven to seek alternatives due to a predicted shortage of some new vehicles in the wake of the continued disruption of Japanese auto production, experts predict.

Price increases at the wholesale level already are being seen for the compact and midsize used cars from Japanese brands and of rival models that would be the closest substitutes for the more popular Japanese new cars.

Over the past couple of weeks, the NADA pricing service says it has observed an 11% rise in the wholesale prices of 3- to 5-year-old compacts such as the Toyota Corolla and the similar Ford Focus.

Midsize cars went up 8.5%, the service says.

Trade-in values for smaller cars already were rising because of higher gas prices and could be even higher by the end of the month. Toyota and Nissan said this week that they don't expect to get back to full production in Japan until at least April 11, a month after the earthquake. Many Japanese plants remain closed, and several Japanese makers' U.S. plants are operating on reduced hours to conserve parts that are sourced from Japan.

Though higher prices are bad for buyers, they're good for car dealers who have suffered through the recession.

"It will help everybody in the used car business," says Terry Megee, who runs Floyd A. Megee Motors, a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealer in Georgetown, Del.


[via USA Today]


Photo courtesy of Brian and re-used under the Creative Commons license.