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Seeing representatives (and often top executives) from the Big Three automakers lobbying in Washington on behalf of the industry is nothing new. But General Motors, Ford and Chrysler aren't the only companies manufacturing automobiles in the United States these days. So too are a growing number of foreign automakers, chief among them Japanese companies, which are now eager to exercise their own lobbying influence on Capitol Hill.

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Japanese automakers are turning to new lease programs in an effort to lock down buyers who may stray to other automakers due to a lower-than-average supply of popular models. Toyota, Honda and Nissan are still in the process of restoring production to pre-earthquake levels, and as a result, buyers may not find the exact model they are looking for on dealer lots. Honda has authorized its dealers to extend current lease customers' arrangements by up to six months. Additionally, the company is offe

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Prius production resumes, Honda further delays restarting plants

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As you've no doubt heard, a massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Japan. In the wake of the seismic event; Toyota, Honda, Subaru and Nissan have shut down and evacuated multiple factories throughout the country. This earthquake is one of the strongest on record in nearly a century, and the damage seen so far is devastating.

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