the 325,000 cars flooded during Hurricane Katrina, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
AUTOMAKER DEALS ABOUND
All major automakers are offering some form of financial relief, allowing owners to defer payments for up to three months for customers in areas hardest hit until the end of the year.
Nissan Motor Co will offer employee pricing and discounted financing for Nissan and Infiniti vehicles in areas hit by Sandy through Jan. 2. Nissan has 225 dealerships in the affected areas.
GM, Ford and Chrysler are each offering $500 cash toward the purchase or lease of a new vehicle for those who lost one from the same automaker because of the storm.
Hyundai, which lost 400 new vehicles to the storm, will cut the cost of a new replacement vehicle by $750. Toyota also announced on Wednesday that it would delay monthly payments for three months to people in affected areas who need to buy or lease a new vehicle because they lost a Toyota or Lexus in the storm.
Honda Motor Co sent out 500,000 emails to its customers in the storm-hit region, and will handle deferred payments and lease extensions on a case-by-case basis, said Chris Martin, company spokesman.
NEW VEHICLES FLOODED
Nissan will have to scrap 6,000 new cars and trucks, the most of any automaker, according to Travis Parman, Nissan spokesman.
Toyota is next with at least 4,825 vehicles damaged, most of which will have to be scrapped, said Jana Hartline, Toyota spokeswoman in California.
Several carmakers lost vehicles stored at the port of Newark in New Jersey, including Toyota, which had about 4,000 new vehicles stored there.
Green car startup Fisker Automotive said it lost more than $33 million worth of luxury Karma plug-in hybrids, 330 sedans †priced at more than $100,000, at Newark.
Auto dealers and the automakers in less densely populated areas of the country are able to store cars and trucks on their own lots. But in the New York-New Jersey area, space is at a premium, so a high number of vehicles are stored at the port rather than being shipped to dealerships, Schienberg said.
GM lost an undisclosed number of new Chevrolet Spark subcompact sedans that were at the port that had been shipped from South Korea, the company said.
The losses could have been higher, said Jim Cain, a spokesman for GM, who said many dealers moved cars and trucks away from