Sandy put big dent in used car inventory

Nov. 8, 2012 at 1:12 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- A U.S. auto dealers' trade group said Hurricane Sandy destroyed at least 250,000 used cars and used car prices will rise as a result.

National Automobile Dealers Association analyst Jonathan Banks said tighter supplies will cause used car prices to rise by as much as 1.5 percent by December, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

Consumers could expect to pay between $50 and $175 more for a used car in the coming months, the newspaper reported.

Industry research firm estimated prices could rise as high as $1,000 in the short term and Banks said price hikes would not be restricted to the East Coast -- as dealers now buy cars from a much wider geographic area than they used to, given much of their buying is now done online.

Many dealers said inventory of new cars was damaged by the storm.

"One Honda dealer told me he lost 600 new units," Banks said.

Niche automobile maker Fisker Automotive, which makes hybrid sports cars, said it lost 30 vehicles that cost $100,000 each.

The Fisker cars were in storage at a port in New Jersey, the newspaper said.

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