Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Double whammy: High Gas Prices and Fuel Efficient Supply Chain Disruptions

The Toyota Prius is the new fuel efficient leader, again.  After a brief tarnishing from the sudden acceleration fiasco, Toyota Prius is once again the darling of car buyers.  According to APM's Marketplace, Toyota of Hollywood was paying their sales force a $500 bonuses for every used Prius they produced.  Prices of fuel efficient cars increased with the cost of gasoline. 

The price of a gallon of gas in California was at $4.22/ga as of April 25, 2011.  Not long ago, the price of a gallon of gas was over $4.00, and then just as now we bought primarily fuel efficient cars.  The recession helped ease the demand of oil, and the price dropped.  That dropped resulted in Americans once again buying bigger cars.  Now that oil is reaching new heights in the markets again, we will see more people buying fuel efficient cars.  This increased demand alone is enough to boost prices for the more desirable cars.

However, Japan is reeling from the earthquake and its aftermath.  Japan suffered its worse drop in industrial production ever: a 15.3% drop.  Toyota's production alone dropped 63% in March.  Experts don't expect production to return to normal levels until October.  This is the supply side hammer that will send the price of fuel efficient vehicles through the roof.  If you own a fuel efficient vehicle, it appears the best time to sell it will be in about two months, what with fear mongers suggesting $6 plus/gallon this summer.  However, the best bet might be to just hang onto that fuel efficient car and just save a buck or two on gas.

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