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IN THE WAKE OF THE QUAKE, PRIUS BECOMES PRECIOUS COMMODITY

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Wed, Mar 23, 2011

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

priuscrowd555
Automotive dealers are reporting a heightened frenzy over the Toyota Prius

AILIS AARON WOLF: BACK SEAT DRIVING EARTHQUAKE TRIGGERED HYBRID SHORTAGE? It is clear that with gas prices continuing to rise higher and higher, consumers are looking to high MPG vehicles to help ease the pain at the pump. "A full 53 percent of car shoppers on AutoTrader.com in February said they are more likely to consider a more fuel-efficient car than the one they currently own as a result of rising fuel prices, according to a just-completed survey of visitors to the car-shopping and information site in February," according to Dealer magazine. And the Prius is one of the popular gas-sipping cars consumer have been buying, with sales up nearly 70 percent over the prior year. The big question now in the mind of many consumers—and likely car dealers as well—is whether the Japanese earthquake and tsunami will affect the supply of hybrids available? It seems the answer is yes. Along with the popular Prius, also affected may be the Honda Insight and CR-Z, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Nissan Leaf, due to a combination of factors ranging from full production overseas to delay in delivery of parts which come from Japan. In some places, the combination of soaring gas prices and the Japanese earthquake has already caused a sales run on hybrids. If you've been looking to buy a hybrid, you might want to go for it now or else you may have to wait - Ailis Aaron Wolf, Hybrid Owners of America

Toyota Prius 2010
Owners are demanding top dollar for their used Prii

ETHAN GOLDMAN: BACK SEAT DRIVING AUTO DEALERS NOT ONLY ONES PULLING TOYOTA PRIUS INCENTIVES Armed with Bevy of Real-Time Info, Consumers Selling Vehicles Also Tuned in to Indicators Automotive dealers are reporting a heightened frenzy over the Toyota Prius and a few other select Japanese models because of a possible supply chain shortage stemming from recent events in Japan. Naturally, a majority of these dealers have reduced or cut their incentives on any deals for the vehicle. Consumers selling and transferring their Prius leases are also aware of the supply chain issues and have cut incentives to any interested buyers. LeaseTrader.com reports listed cash incentives from drivers looking to unload their Toyota Prius lease contract are averaging near zero, down sharply from an average of $450 in January. As a comparison, listed incentives within the SUV segment have gone up only slightly, from $1,075 in January to $1,150 today, despite the run up in gas prices. "Now that we live in the information age, consumers have all kinds of access to much of the same information businesses use to make real-time decisions," said Sergio Stiberman of LeaseTrader.com. "Today’s savvy consumer is keenly aware of selling over the Internet and uses a lot of this information, available via cable news, Internet outlets and social media, to make decisions that are influenced by broader economic indicators." - Ethan Goldman

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