Not Just Japanese Cars Affected By Japan Problems

DENVER (CBS4) – Those in the market for a new car may have some problems getting the one they want. The disaster in Japan is showing just how heavily dependent the auto industry is on the country.

Most of Japan’s car factories were not directly damaged in the earthquake and tsunami. But Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Toyota have all stopped production at one point.

Domestic automakers are also affected. Roughly 20 percent of the parts inside American cars are also made in Japan. Experts say cars produced in Japan, like the Toyota Prius and Yaris, will be hard to find.

American jobs are affected as well, with auto plants all over the country cutting back hours.

“This couldn’t have happened at a worst possible time. Our industry is on the rebound. The economy is coming back a little bit and people are ready for a new car,” Don Hicks with Shortline Automotive said.

In Colorado 20 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue is derived from car sales.

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