Dealerships now feeling pain of Japan crisis

Dealerships now feeling pain of Japan crisis

A few weeks ago, I reported on the Japan tsunami and how it was affecting Subaru dealer, Jeff Morrill. At that time, just a few weeks after the tragic disaster, dealers had not  yet begun experiencing shortages of inventory and parts. But nearly six weeks later, the story has somewhat changed. While we remain most concerned for the Japanese people who continue to deal with the aftermath, we cannot ignore the fact that various industries around the world have felt the tsunami’s impact.

From the outset, Japanese automakers have aimed to keep their U.S. networks informed. As seen in my prior Industry Pulse piece, Subaru connected with its dealer base here immediately following the devastation. It appears that Honda has done the same. (Note: I can’t vouch for all of the Japanese OEMs because I only have first-hand knowledge of these two; however, I imagine that the likes of Toyota, Nissan, Suzuki, and Mitsubishi have taken similar steps.)


This weekend, I received an email from the dealership where I bought my car and have it serviced regularly. The email comes from Landmark Honda’s Service Department, whose manager is Larry Shifflett. The email provides instruction (sans panic) for those who have upcoming service and parts needs, and it even includes a few coupons for patrons.

There are few emails I like to receive from my dealership, but I think this one is right on the money. I am happy to see that my dealership is keeping those who are less informed about the auto industry – just regular customers – apprised of the situation.

I’d like to know if you have received any emails or calls similar to this. Have you heard from any other automakers through your dealership? Do you have any extra insight to provide on other Japanese car makers? Please let me know in the comments section.

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.

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