Price of Japanese cars expected to rise

June 19, 2012 12:00 AM

As Japanese automakers begin to export fewer cars to the U.S., Kelley Blue Book (KBB) expects the prices for popular models to rise accordingly.

Japanese manufacturers are cutting back on their exports due to the strength of the country's yen. The yen is operating at near record levels, making the exporting business somewhat costly. Honda recently revealed it was operating at a loss on models such as the Fit and Insight due to the high cost of shipping across the Pacific. Toyota and Nissan are also expected to cut back on the amount of models coming to the United States.

This doesn't mean shoppers won't be able to buy a Toyota Prius if they want one, but they'll likely pay a bit more for it. Reduced inventory for dealers generally means less wiggle room with regards to negotiations. For example, KBB reports the Fit is currently averaging a final sale price of 97 percent of the sticker. Most models are selling for 95 percent of their sticker price.

Drivers should factor the cost of vehicle maintenance into any decision to purchase a new vehicle. While Japanese models may be more expensive, drivers can reduce their auto repair bills by keeping up with scheduled maintenance.

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