In case you live under a rock that wasn’t picked up or submerged in the Northeast or you live in California, chances are you’re fully aware of Hurricane nee Superstorm Sandy. If you’re reading this from back east, congrats, you still have electricity.
Beyond the 7.5 million people without electricity and the destruction—on a serious note, our hearts go out to everyone affected by the storm—there’s a lingering question as to what’s going to happen with the car market in the states hit by Sandy. First, automakers are expecting to have slowed sales from now and into the foreseeable future. General Motors says that even though its Maryland transmission plant was shut down Monday and Tuesday of this week, it was supposed to go back online today.
Ford is suffering no such delays in manufacturing, but expects sales to suffer some.
“Clearly this is going to have an impact on industry sales towards the end of the month and maybe early November,” Bob Shanks, the CFO of Ford told Bloomberg. “But all of our plants and our suppliers fortunately are continuing to operate as normal.”
Unfortunately, many auto dealerships with existing inventories and automakers with cars coming into Northeast ports have lost countless numbers of cars. Damage has obviously been worse in locations closer to water, like New York and New Jersey.
And then there’s the flood—pun intended—of “flood-damaged” used cars expected to hit the market in the near future, most likely to come with rebuilt or salvage titles, some illegally without them. That will further complicate the market—and further incite sales of new vehicles once insurance claims are settled.
According to Automotive News, New York City, Northern New Jersey, Long Island, and a small part of Pennsylvania—the hardest-hit parts of the U.S.—account for 8 percent of all new car sales, meaning that while sales are sure to slow down, they’ll not be greatly derailed by the natural disaster. Expect new car sales to be at their highest point since 2008.