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Superstorm Sandy Trashes A Quarter Of A Million Vehicles

As the flooding from Hurricane Sandy recedes and the damage figures climb, the numbers of automobiles impacted by the storm are beginning to roll in.  So far, estimates show that as many as 266,000 new and used vehicles will be heading to the junkyard as a result of the storm.  Of that figure, manufacturers report that 16,000 new vehicles were lost, a number that would have been much higher if many of them hadn’t been moved prior to the storm as a precautionary measure.  Of the vehicles that were damaged, most were in storage at the port of Newark when the massive storm pounded the coast of New Jersey and New York.

The nation’s two largest automakers, General Motors and Ford, haven’t announced how many new vehicles they’ve had to scrap as a result of Sandy.  When those figures come in, the 16,000 total likely will climb higher. 

New car sales are expected to rise in next few months, as many people begin to replace vehicles that were lost in the storm.   Financial relief is being offered to buyers by all of the major manufacturers, with some allowing deferred payments for three months to customers in areas impacted by Sandy.  Other deals for Sandy victims who lost vehicles include $500 in credit from Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, and $750 from Hyundai.  Nissan is also offering special discounts for those who lost vehicles in the affected areas.  Honda has issued emails to customers in the damaged region, promising deferred payments to customers who repurchase vehicles from their dealerships.

The storm dampened auto sales in late October, with Toyota estimating a loss of 30,000 vehicle sales as a result of the turmoil. It’s expected that sales in November and December will more than make up for the loss, as consumers begin to head back into dealerships, many of them replacing lost or damaged vehicles. 

New car and truck losses reported by automakers includes 6,000 vehicles from Nissan and 4,900 from Toyota. The highest figure so far comes from eco-car maker Fisker Automotive, which reports 330 luxury Karma hybrid electric sedans were lost at the port of Newark, totaling $33 million dollars.