By on November 8, 2012

Superstorm Sandy left about a quarter million dead cars in its path, Reuters figures.  It mioght even drive up cars sales.

There is no official number yet on how many cars have been destroyed in the storm. “We believe that between 100,000 and 250,000 vehicles currently in operation could be removed from used vehicle supply once all is said and done,” said Laurence E. Dixon III, senior analyst with the National Automobile Dealers Association. Reuters think it is at least 266,000 vehicles.

Some consumers with damaged vehicles may need to replace them with a new car, said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association.

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23 Comments on “Super Sandy Kills A Quarter Million Cars...”

  • avatar

    Where will all those terminally damaged cars go? Can the junkyards absorb them all?

  • avatar

    The Pine Tree air freshener replacement sales will be booming, too.

    What else? GPS? CDs? Lamb’s wool seat covers? Donk wheels?

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    C4C + Sandy = I’ve got your Carpocalypse II right here.

    While there will be many new replacements, I can’t imagine all affected parties going that route, and that’s going to screw up the secondary market even further. I’m certain Mr. Lang will soon be sharing his direct experiences with us regarding the rapidly shifting conditions.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, I’m actually thinking there will be a net INCREASE in used cars available on the market in certain areas; none that I would want to touch with a 10 foot pole. Detroit X may be right, now would be the time to buy into companies that make pine tree air fresheners…

      There was a discussion similar to this on another blog that I read concerning the alleged ‘benefit’ of all this destruction, i.e., increased economic activity due to having to fix and replace things. But the general consensus was that if the destruction of capital made economic sense, we’d be doing it on our own instead of waiting for Mother Nature to intervene.

      Regardless, not everyone who lost a car will replace it, some will replace new cars with used cars if it benefits them. I’m sure there will be a bump in new car sales, but if I were the carmakers, I’d hold off popping the champagne cork…

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        There will be a “benefit” in vehicle sales, but it comes at a cost detriment to insurance companies and individuals. Vehicle scrappage ultimately will drive new vehicle purchases, but the relationship is elastic, especially in the short term.

      • 0 avatar

        geozinger said: “But the general consensus was that if the destruction of capital made economic sense, we’d be doing it on our own instead of waiting for Mother Nature to intervene.”

        – In fact, we *are* doing it already. It’s called “planned obsolescence.”

      • 0 avatar

        “But the general consensus was that if the destruction of capital made economic sense, we’d be doing it on our own instead of waiting for Mother Nature to intervene.”

        We are doing it ourselves, it’s called “war”.

    • 0 avatar

      For sure- the used car market will be red hot!If you have a running used car with a functional heater- now is the time to drive it to the east coast and unload it!!!!

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    The United States scraps on the order of 14-15 million vehicles every year. An extra 1/4 million should be no problem for salvage yards.

    • 0 avatar

      I thought that there haven’t been that many new cars sold in the US since the recession began; thus, if so many are scrapped, the total number of cars would be decreasing. Since the population seems to continue to rise, it seems unlikely for the number of cars to decrease.

      But I do think that as a rule of thumb, a stable car market implies similar numbers of new cars sold as old cars removed. (However, old cars are also exported out of the US, which would decrease the number being scrapped to maintain the stable car total.)

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        The total US vehicle fleet declined 2% due to scrappage exceeding replenishment with new sales in a recent article I read, the first time in many years. That is why the term “pent up demand” is real.

  • avatar

    I’ve been posting videos about GASPOCALYPSE on my Youtube. trying to help my family and my coworkers find gasoline using a personally devised system of coordinating gas station visits with internet posted gas inventories. So far, I’ve been able to fill up waiting a maxmium of 1hr/10 min.

    Before I figured out the system, I waited 11 HOURS on a Hess line just to fill my SRT8Supercharged with Premium unleaded.

    Now the situation is a little better – at least till the Noreaster came in and dumbed 7 inches of snow on people waiting on these 60-car long gas lines.

    Many of my coworkers and at least 4 business partners lost their cars. this includes a brand new ML350, a brand new BMW6, a brand new Bentley GT and a brand new Mercedes S63AMG.

    Thank GOD I moved into Queens and nowhere near water or major tree growth. The big trees have the short root systems and they’ve just been flopping over -taking down power lines. It’s like 20’F and people don’t have heat or electricity. Glad Cuomo fired the FEMA director for using resources to take care of himself first.

    • 0 avatar

      Manhattan traffic is a killer. To drive from 77/Madison to the wall street area can take hours. I am ready to break out the bicycle.

      Never lost power. But, phone land lines are still not working.

      Also, easy to get gas … I95 Exit 5, Greenwich CT, Mobil. At night, only a 30 minute drive.

      Spent last week in Newport Beach, CA … many 85+ degree days spent at the beach in Corona Del Mar. Now, the winds are howling on 77th Street.

      • 0 avatar

        I work not too far from where you’re getting gas. All of the people I work with from the city are stocking up from here. Luckily I live north of Westchester in NY and can easily get gas near my house.

      • 0 avatar

        I live not far from the Mobil on Exit 5. Avoid at all costs. The most expensive gas in CT. Drive up to Shell on exit 6 or citco on exit 9 for a much lower price. Need not drive upto CT at all, at least 2 stations off exit 13 NB in NYC still had gas when i was there yesterday.

      • 0 avatar

        May I suggest Gasbuddy dot com for an excellent way to find fuel? Up to date and good graphical information…

  • avatar

    This is a good opportunity for someone to come in and do some pr and promotions.

    But one that needs to be done a bit carefully, the big opportunity has unfortunately already passed.

    For instance, how about Honda showing up with a bunch of CRV’s loaded up with Honda generators to help power up houses/provide heat for people without power in the cold weather?

    Just one idea, I’m sure people could come up with others. If the company is there honestly helping, it could create some goodwill especially considering how many new vehicles are probably going to be purchased in the are in the next 6-12 months.

  • avatar

    Coming to a CarMax near you…

  • avatar

    Sanjeev and Panther fans should look away…!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_635/cabs-submerged-water-hoboken-n.jpg

    They all seem to be new cars either hoarded before crown vic production ends or just waiting to start service. The decals and taxi roof signs are not installed yet. I am guessing water up to the door handles clearing the hood is a complete loss?

  • avatar
    Mike Kelley

    I guess they could always call on their beloved FEMA:

    Oh, guess not.

  • avatar

    Back when I used to evaluate used cars, I found that checking the top of the underside dashboard flange was informative. The people who cleaned up flood cars would never think to clean here.

    In any event, never – I mean NEVER buy a flood damaged car. They commonly contain subtle damage that won’t be noticed for a few months and then they’ll be horribly expensive to repair. Even a brief exposure to salt water makes pits in bearings and shafts; the crooks will dump the oil and transmission fluid and replace it with fresh, but the damage is already done. It’ll run and drive fine, but the life expectancy is cut to a small fraction of what it should have been.

    If you can find any indication that it’s been immersed, walk away. Clues include carpets that don’t fit right, doors that seem unusually heavy, and “high water” marks in various locations. Dealers need to watch for these all of the time; the general public needs to be aware, too – especially when thousands of cars that Sandy drowned will be making their way to the market in a month or two. Don’t depend on title markings or Carfax; look at the darned thing and get an expert to do it if you’re not sure.

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