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Over the next few months, the auto industry may receive... Over the next few months, the auto industry may receive a boost from customers replacing cars lost during Hurricane Sandy (Credit: Maryland National Guard, Flickr).
The effects of Hurricane Sandy are expected to ripple across the auto industry.

In the short term, the superstorm is expected to hurt October sales figures, as dealerships across the Eastern Seaboard missed several days of sales. But in the months ahead, analysts expect the storm to boost an already-burgeoning industry as Sandy's victims replace damaged vehicles.

"There was definitely a loss of sales over the last couple of days and this month, sales will be lower than the would have been otherwise," said Tracy Handler, principal analyst for IHS Automotive. "Over the next 30 days, we'll see some lower sales for a bit, but then we expect we'll come back."

The storm decimated a region that accounts for approximately 20 percent of all U.S. car sales. Early estimates say the halt in sales could cost automakers as many as 100,000 units in October figures, but delayed purchases could beef up November numbers instead.

The number of damaged or destroyed cars is hard to pinpoint only two days after Sandy hit. Ford spokesperson Erich Merkle said it was too early to assess Sandy's impact on the company's October numbers or forecast for the year. A spokesperson for insurance giant State Farm said that 900 auto-related claims had been filed by early Wednesday afternoon, but that's only the beginning.

"We're just ramping up," she said.

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, approximately 640,000 vehicles were lost. Hurricane Sandy, hitting a much more population-dense region, is expected to have a far more reaching effect.

New car sales were initially expected to rise approximately 12 percent in October, according to a TrueCar.com projection. The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of sales was expected to top 14.9 million units this year, the highest industry sales figures since 2007.

While October's projections may dwindle, the possibility of so many new car shoppers unexpectedly entering the market could push the SAAR above 15 million.

Luxury brands could potentially see the biggest temporary dips in their numbers – and potentially the biggest longer-term rewards. The New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. markets account for 25.4 percent of all Acura sales, 23.6 percent of Mercedes-Benz sales and 23.2 percent of BMW sales, according to an Edmunds analysis of Polk car registration data.

Popular car brands in each market could also see numbers affected. Honda accounts for 14.2 percent of all New York car registrations, Ford claims 14.3 percent of the Philadelphia market and Toyota holds 16.1 percent of the new-car market in the nation's capital.


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  • 25 Comments
      dkp50
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another Great Opportunity- Or a Silver Lining? 1- You lost your job 2-Your 3 mos behind in your car payments and are going to Have your Car Repo'd 3. So what do you do Instead? Drive it to this area and leave it 4. It gest Wiped out, the Insurance Pays you More than the Car is Worth, you pay off the Auto Loan and Make an extra few Bucks in the Process They wanted to Insure my car for $3k more than dealer tells me it's worth , even on trade in Minuse my $1k Deductable, It's still over insured by $2k.. Why? So they can get a Higher Ins. Premium of course.. These Ins. Co.'s want to Keep Over Charging us to Insure our cars, to make More $, so turnabout is Fair Play, isn't it? Same goes for Those BOATS, Mobile Homes, Travel Trailers, Campers and just about everything else on Wheels.. You own a 18 Wheeler? Those Trucks can cost $150k ? You in the Hole? Drive it to this area, leave it there and Let it get Wiped out, collect the Ins.
      • 2 Years Ago
      First stop on selling the 'flooded' cars....the south.Make sure you get a car fax.
      Fed Up
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wouldn't be buying any "Used" cars from the North East for a while.
      bwhitedjr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't buy any used cars for the next year. Those cars that where damaged during Sandy will be shipped out of state to the west coast where buyers will think they are getting a great deal. That's what happened after Katrina. Shady sales of the Katrina cars caused consumers to spend unbelievable amounts of cash just to keep them running.
      servicemasterwv
      • 2 Years Ago
      watch when buying a used car they will sell you the flooded cars for sure
      LookyHere
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lucky Automakers! Not so lucky victims. Obama will take credit for new auto jobs.
      timothyknerr
      • 2 Years Ago
      state Farm is the answer my agent is GREAT!!!!
      siderman
      • 2 Years Ago
      most of these flooded cars will be sold elsewhere and the insurance scams carry on
      lbwalnj
      • 2 Years Ago
      By the way, at least 4000 Toyota, Lexus and Scion cars as well as possibly 1000's of other brand of imported (BMW, Mini) sand export bound cars were lost during Sandy at the port facilities at Port Newark/Elizabeth and adjacent areas. That may mean a shortage of some models short term as most of these cars were flooded sufficiently to make they unsellable.
      joe
      • 2 Years Ago
      not reported*
      moore240
      • 2 Years Ago
      the new generation of car buyers dont seem to mind paying big bucks for the over priced cars,they would be stupid enough to buy a bridge
      greenliks
      • 2 Years Ago
      who is going to pay for all these cars..homes...evrything that was lost????? no wonder I put up with a bit of snow!
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