As Japanese automakers see their production levels return to normal, U.S. dealers should finally be able to bolster their inventories after months of slim pickings. According to Automotive News, the companies may use the situation to attempt to improve total year sales with massive incentive and advertising spending. The report says that currently, some showrooms are only at half of their pre-disaster inventory levels – this, despite the fact that the number of available vehicles has increased over the past month. The quake and tsunami disaster has resulted in a shift in market share, with Japanese makes losing 6.7 percentage points from their pre-quake height of 38.8 percent. Automotive News reports that Toyota saw its market share plummet by 2.6 percent to 11.6 percent.

The introduction of the seventh-generation Camry may help that company's cause, and rivals Honda and Nissan may attempt to launch a price war to keep buyers in the family. That may mean larger incentives than buyers have seen from either automaker in the recent past. Additionally, the report says that manufacturers are cranking up the ad budget to match production. The rush of cash is expected to take hold in the fourth quarter, which means automakers must make it through Q3, first.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      bchreng
      • 3 Years Ago
      Toyota's going to have to offer some pretty hefty incentives to lure buyers away from Hyundai's dealerships. I'm seeing loads of new Sonatas on the roads here in the LA/OC area.
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      So the Japanese will be dumping products left and right in the US, yet they keep strict control over US sales in their own country. Time finally to balance this trade defecit
        Synthono
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tenspeeder
        What does America make which would sell in Japan? The Chevy Astro found a niche market a few years ago, but for the most part the standard American car is completely out of place there.
        Bruce Lee
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tenspeeder
        Way to make nonsense up, there's no import tax on US made vehicles in Japan.
      Diggz
      • 3 Years Ago
      i doubt the 7th Generation Camry is gonna help sales.. there are a TON of current Camry/Corolla at the dealerships here in Chicago..
      Nick Allain
      • 3 Years Ago
      So can I get a 370z at half price? Because I'd be all over that.
      caddy-v
      • 3 Years Ago
      The last couple of months the airways have been flooded with news stories about the critical shortage of Toyota's and yet they're getting ready for major incentives to rid themselves of inventories that don't exist? There's a shortage of inventory and yet everytime I drive past a Toy dealer the lots are full of new cars with thousands on the hood. One would think that if there was a shortage dealers would want to maximize the profit and drop the incentives. I call bull shi#. Toyota sales were in the dumpster long before the earthquake ever since people woke up and realized what a crapbox they really are.
        LifeLongCarGuy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @caddy-v
        I don't know about you but the inventory (overflow) lot at the Toyota dealership by my house is empty. Seriously, not a single car on it. In fact the last three vehicles I saw there were Siennas. This lot easily holds 300+ cars too. The reason why Toyota dealerships need incentives is to draw people back to the showroom. Once potential buyers arrive the rest is up to the sales team. Although I think Toyota is a bland brand the cars pretty much sell themselves.
      Brian Lara
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wondering they have the same incentive for LF-A. I really want one.
      kA
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have family looking to buy a Prius soon. Anyone know if they'll put incentives on that, or will it only be on their biggest sellers?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]