Japanese car companies 1 year after tsunami

Mar 12, 2012

Japanese car sales in the U.S. have nearly recovered, a year after a tsunami devastated parts of Japan.  

The disaster affected many Honda and Toyota suppliers, and the companies’ car inventories in the U.S. plummeted. 

Michelle Krebs is with Edmunds.com.  She says Hyundai and Kia, along with Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, all benefited from the situation.  

"The market share runs about 45-46% for the Big Three in the U.S.," notes Kreb.  "That shot way up to 50.3 % - a number we hadn’t seen in a long time."

But Krebs says the boost for domestic car companies was temporary.  Toyota and Honda have regained nearly all the market share they lost.   And they're going after the last bit.

"We are seeing some very aggressive marketing by the Japanese automakers, especially Toyota and Honda as they want to get their market share back."

The tsunami did cause a few plant shutdowns at Ford and General Motors, too, because some of their suppliers are in Japan.