Storm could lead to increased auto sales, industry website says

Staff report


Once life returns to normal for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, the auto industry could see extra sales from people who delayed purchases or need to replace vehicles, according to an automotive- industry website.

“In Hurricane Katrina, which affected a much less-populated area than New York/New Jersey, there were about a half-million damaged vehicles,” said Lacey Plache, chief economist. “Sandy’s impact may well be higher, but even if 100,000 damaged vehicles are replaced by the end of the year, it could boost auto sales 3 [percent] to 4 percent for the quarter, and that has a positive effect on the economy overall.”

The expected jump in demand will add more sales volume to a part of the country that is particularly important to the auto industry.

Edmunds estimates that 20 percent of all new-car sales in the U.S. come from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, which were affected by the storm.

Some automakers, such as General Motors and Nissan, have announced incentive programs specifically for storm victims.

Edmunds estimates used-car prices will climb $700 to $1,000 in the short term due to storm-damaged dealer inventories and brief interruptions in the supply chain.

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