Is now a good time to buy a Honda?
March 14, 2011 7:48 PM   Subscribe

First of all, I am deeply sympathetic to the disaster in Japan, so I am sorry if this is tacky. But I was already looking to buy a new Honda within the next few months and want to know if because of the circumstances I should jump on it now.

I went to look at Fits over the weekend and the dealer told me that because of the damage to Honda plants we may not see new shipments for awhile. He said it could be why its been a busy weekend at the dealership, hinting that particular one I want could become harder to get in the next few months.
Is this a line or is there truth to it?
posted by hellameangirl to Shopping (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Well, for reference, here's the list of Honda assembly plants.

This current news article says that "U.S. supply of [...] Honda Fit may be affected because they are built exclusively in Japan and could become more desirable if U.S. gasoline prices reach $4 per gallon" but an automotive analyst with Edmunds.com said, "There could be some issues where customers don't get the exact vehicle that they want, but I would say it doesn't look like the inventory situation right now looks dire."
posted by BeerFilter at 7:58 PM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Fit is currently produced at ten production plants in eight countries/regions including Japan and is sold in approximately 115 countries. The model has been appraised by customers around the world and cumulative global sales exceeds 3.5 million units."

However, another article states: "U.S. supply of some fuel-efficient cars such as the Toyota Prius hybrid, Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit, may be affected because they are built exclusively in Japan and could become more desirable if U.S. gasoline prices reach $4 per gallon."

"There could be some issues where customers don't get the exact vehicle that they want," said Jessica Caldwell, an automotive analyst with auto website Edmunds.com. "But I would say it doesn't look like the inventory situation right now looks dire."

So the dealers are probably overblowing the situation.
posted by kpht at 8:00 PM on March 14, 2011


First, I would find out where a Fits is made. Honda is a Japanese company but a lot of their cars are made in North America. It would also depend on where their parts are manufactured, but I would assume that a majority of the parts for a NA built car will also be made in NA. Second, I would go online and check all dealers with 250 miles for their current inventory. Check the VIN numbers and decode them for their age. Have the cars been sitting on the lot or are they moving in and out. If the cars are made in Japan and there is low inventory locally, he is right. If they are made in NA, I would think that the supply will remain as it has been. If they are manufactured in Japan but there are significant numbers of cars in inventory in the States, you will likely be ok with getting one but might not get the color or add-ons you want.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:00 PM on March 14, 2011


Dammit, shoulda hit preview.
posted by kpht at 8:01 PM on March 14, 2011


Likewise. Preview. Zut.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:15 PM on March 14, 2011


Yeah, there could be something to it. The quake basically shut down Japanese car production, and how quickly it gets going again for any particular model will depend not just on where the plant is (the Fit is built in Suzuka, Mie, and the Honda Suzuka plant was shut down) but also on how quickly the suppliers get back up and running. If you've decided on a new Fit, yes, get it now, because the inventory is likely to be worse, not better, in the next few months, and less stock=higher prices. On the other hand, don't let them gouge you because of this.
posted by Dasein at 8:16 PM on March 14, 2011


FWIW, I don't think it's a tacky question. Japan is going to need people to buy its exports in order for it to get back on its feet.

Mayor Giuliani suggested people go eat dinner in Manhattan after 9/11 to support the local economy. I think the dynamic is the same.
posted by bardic at 9:16 PM on March 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


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