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Japanese Automakers Halt Production to Assess Damages

Posted: Mar 14, 2011 10:12 a.m.

Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Toyota announced that they have halted production at their Japan factories due to the massive tsunami that swept through the country on Friday. For now, U.S. inventory should not be affected. A large number of vehicles were already in transit, and some of the automakers’ most popular models are made here already, reports the L.A. Times. But less-popular and luxury-brand models are all assembled in Japan, making the outlook for availability and pricing of some Scion, Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti models uncertain. Honda, Nissan and Toyota have not yet decided when production will resume. Mazda announced in a press release that it has suspended production at least through Wednesday, March 16th, and may resume manufacturing as early as Thursday, March 17th.

Toyota has said that while all of its plants are currently capable of assembly, many of its parts suppliers have halted production. The company has also said that it is focusing on its employees and their family members during the tragedy, another reason production has not resumed immediately, according to Left Lane News.

Nissan, Japan’s second-largest automaker, did not come out of the disaster quite as well as Toyota. About 2,300 U.S.-bound vehicles and six plants were damaged by the tsunami. “Honda said the disruptions in Japan would not have an immediate impact on its North American operations, which produce 90 percent of the vehicles Honda sells in the United States,” according to the Detroit News

If you’re in the market for a Scion, Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Acura, Nissan, or Infiniti, you might not be affected, especially if you intend to buy sooner rather than later. Automakers will not be likely to change pricing or incentives until they have a more time to evaluate the situation, so look out for the possibility of decreased incentives when they are announced in April. To check out incentives for this month, visit our Best Car Deals page.

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