It doesn't seem like it was that long ago, but the record breaking 8.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan over two months ago now is begining to cause big problems for automobile manufacturers and dealerships in the US. At the time of the earthquake the focus was on the damage caused by the nuclear reactors melting down and hazards caused by the disaster, but many automobile plants were also damaged along with big pieces of Japan's infrastructure. Even plants that lie in areas not significantly damaged by the earthquakes have been experiencing rolling blackouts preventing a steady production of parts to manufacture new cars and trucks. Not only are Japanese automakers having trouble producing new inventory, but also parts to repair vehicles already out on the streets.

Tim Schermerhorn, parts and service director at McCarty Motors in Laramie, Wyoming said that they are already seeing waiting periods of up to 30 days on some parts, but luckily they are only on non-essential accessories at this point. Tim and the owner of McCarty Motors, Greg McCarty, stressed that it will take a while to recover because Honda uses very high grade parts in their vehicles and they will have to find new suppliers that can create parts that are up to their standards of quality. They will not sacrific quality, which is nice to see. Apparently Honda is not the only manufacturer experiencing inventory shortages; GM and other US manufacturers have continually sourced more and more of their parts out to Japanese manufacturers so they are stuck in the same boat. Interestingly Gregg McCarty pointed out that around 80% of Honda's parts are produced inside the US. However it only takes one missing part to prevent new automobiles from being produced.

Shortages are just starting to hit the dealers as they receive fewer cars and stockpiles of extra repair parts dwindle. In the coming months chances are that you will see lots of empty spaces on new car lots, so if you are thinking about buying a new car you might want to expedite the buying decision so that you can still find the right car to meet your needs. Dealers will also be very eager to take your trade-in in order to keep their lots stocked with cars and trucks. It might not be a bad idea to take care of any foreseeable repairs to your car as well to make sure you are not left waiting if something does go wrong. If you are in Laramie check out the coupon section on to get discounts on your next automobile service.