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A new report from Kelley Blue Book shows that consumers are paying less for new cars than they were one year ago, mainly due to a reduction in price from Japanese automakers.One of the reasons for the price decrease is due to the Japanese earthquake. The disaster caused a reduction in the number of models coming to the U.S., driving up the prices of vehicles from Japan. Now that the dealers are fully restocked, the price is coming down.Unfortunately, this trend is not extending to American automakers, which are not seeing nearly the same decreases in price."The average Honda model is selling for nearly $1,200 less than this time last year, and a Subaru, Mazda or Toyota is approximately $700 to $800 more affordable. Toyota and Honda have regained 4.5 and 2 percentage points of market share respectively through May 2012," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for KBB. "Compare this to the average year-over-year declines of less than $500 for Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, and it's no wonder the Japanese automakers have been able to considerably increase market share this year."While the lower prices may cause some drivers to consider purchasing a new vehicle, others will hang on to their current cars. Regular vehicle maintenance can help drivers keep their cars on the road longer.
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