Disaster in Japan impacts Valley car dealers

FRESNO, Calif.

Toyota, Honda and Nissan have all expressed concern about the manufacturing of their car parts-which in some parts of Japan----has been halted.

But, at least one local dealer says----he's not worried----at least, not yet.

"This is a car that's made in Japan, all 370 z's, gtr's leave, they all come from Japan."

At Lithia Nissan in North Fresno, about ten percent of its cars and parts are shipped directly from Japan.

Right now, the Nissan manufacturer in Sendai is closed because of damages sustained during last week's tsunami.

General Manager Ash Desai says if it remains that way-----in the long run, customers may have to wait longer to either order new cars or get their old ones fixed.

"Most of the dealers in the factories are on a 50-90 day supply. So when that runs out, and if the plants are affected, you will see a difference," Desai said.

Fortunately, for Desai----the affects would be limited. "Seventy percent of their cars are made here, so cars like 370z, gtr, Leaf. These could be problem, but those are limited quantities so not that much of a problem."

Other car companies like Toyota have reported even bigger issues.

But, on its website, the corporation is assuring customers they're doing their best to keep impact at a minimum.

In the bay area---this San Rafael dealership has started running out of priuses.

Typically--they have nearly 150 on their lot. Currently, there are just over 80.

"How long will that last you?

That would be about a sixty day supply for this area."

Fresno State marketing professor, Dr. William rice says with fewer supplies----ticket prices on Japanese cars will likely increase.

"if things cost more, like chips and other kinds of things, right now the chip manufacturer over there is shut down because of the inadequacy of electricity...that's going to be passed down to the people who put those chips in the cars and when that's passed on..Guess what, they're going to raise the price of the car," Dr. William Rice said.

The dealership we spoke to today says they have no plans to change their sticker price.

Meanwhile, aside from some Japanese manufacturers shutting down----the railroad system and harbor in Japan have also been impacted--which has delayed product into the shipyards.

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