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List of Cars in Short Supply Due to Quake

March 31, 2011

Toyota PriusThe tragic earthquake and nuclear crisis has shut down production of some especially fuel-efficient cars just when gas prices are spiking.

Those constraints are showing up in higher prices for popular Japanese fuel sippers, especially the Honda Fit and the Toyota Prius.

Prices for the Prius rose from about $300 under invoice two weeks ago to selling for sticker price this week.

Likewise, Honda Fit prices have already increased, projected to climb several hundred dollars in the coming weeks.

Honda looks like the automaker that has been hardest-hit, suspending new dealer orders for the CR-Z, Fit, Insight, and Acura RL and TSX, as well as some CR-Vs that were made in Japan.

Even cars produced in North America aren't immune. General Motors had to shut down a plant that makes small pickups in Louisiana, reportedly because of a shortage of Japan-sourced parts and Honda just announced they will be cutting back production by 50 percent due to part shortages.

So far, more than 200,000 Japanese cars that were scheduled for production haven't been made, leaving short supplies on dealers' lots.

And car shoppers will face diminishing choices of options and colors on these cars in coming weeks.

The situation in Japan has interrupted or slowed production of the following models:

Consumers looking for a Japanese car, and especially a small economy car, might consider acting quickly.

A better strategy if you can put off buying a new car would be to wait until production and prices get back to normal - which may not be until early June.

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My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan


Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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