Supply/Demand - Houston & Hurricane Harvey

I live in NJ and we lost a home on the coast to Hurricane Sandy. Approx 250,000 cars were scrapped in the tri-state area due to that storm. But Hurricane Harvey and the flooding it brought to Eastern Texas (and Western Louisiana) covers a much larger area. CNBC is already estimating 500,000 cars to be scrapped (or re-titled…flood or salvage title).

This group is all about getting great deals on new cars but I suspect the discounts and incentives are likely to become much smaller due to high demand when victims of the flood start replacing their cars. Today and tomorrow (month end) might be the best days to work a good deal for awhile.

I hope the manufacturers offer some deep discounts/incentives to those who actually lost vehicles due to this storm.

Very true. The secondary market is going to be insane in this region. If you are looking to trade or sell a car, you will likely get top dollar.

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AHAHAHA, you wish, they are going to do just the opposite! Remember those PGA certs, where some people dipped into their pockets, OOOOOHHHHH WELL A STORMS A COMIN (no pun intended). They will rob these poor flood ridden families blind.

Our DMA has received a 1000$ bonus on all GM models. GMC, Caddy, and Chevy.

Additionally, they’ve run up the rebates a ton in the state outside of that. It is a good time to buy new.

I live in Houston my F150 Lariat somehow got the XM antenna knocked off during the storm and I got some water in my truck. I filed a claim with State Farm because I noticed my radio touchscreen was fogged up which cleared in a day or two. I was thinking they would pay for a new XM antenna installation and possibly replace radio. Instead my truck was totaled I cannot believe it the appraiser said State Farm is totaling a vehicle if it got any water in it at all. So that number of scrapped cars could be even higher. I am still shocked my truck is in cherry condition to be scrapped is nuts.

I am concerned too that the dealers will have a huge demand and I will end up paying way more than I want too. I am less than a year from paying it off and now I will likely be financing another vehicle soon. I guess thats life in the big wet city! lol!

You can usually buy it back from insurance for pretty cheap. Even with its salvaged/flooded title, at least you know what was really wrong (not much), so it should be a great buy.


Yes and you and I will be paying for this when they raise our rates at the next renewal.

I am pretty sure that a lot of that 100 billion aid fema package is going to end up in the car industry.

Yeah I am really questioning if I made the right decision. I looked up replacing that antenna and it looked like more than I wanted to attempt. I also looked at replacing the radio but because everything ties into it including the air-conditioning I would have to go back with a stock sync system which is very expensive. The auto makers are probably the only ones that win in this type of situation.

What do you guys think about the impact of these two Hurricanes on the car market in the Midwest ? Should we also expect to see less incentives since the south-east market is going to become hot market in a couple of months ?

The Brave people of Texas should not let this crisis go to waste:
a) First they must lobby the legislature to abolish the Texas practice of taxing the entire vehicle sales price on a lease
b) They must lobby for a suspension of registration and other DMV/govt fee for 6 months in affected areas
c) They must request a state incentive/rebate for Electric vehicles, preferably of around 5k-10k like Colorado & California is considering
d) They must request that all tolls around houston be set to 0 for 6 months
e) Abolish state gas taxes for 6 months

With this, they can ensure the economic recovery of Houston and that citizens get back on their feet and able to go to work while they cope with the financial burden of rebuilding…

The USA sells around 17 million cars a year. So 500k lost cars due t flooding represents ~ 3% of the annual production. Industry could quite easily ramp up to meet any extra demand. That’s not to say that some popular models may be in short supply.

Regarding the 500k flood cars. As happened in cases like this before, a good number of those “salvage” cars get sold in other states as used cars with no disclosure of their status.

  • Buyer beware !

" Regarding the 500k flood cars. As happened in cases like this before, a good number of those “salvage” cars get sold in other states as used cars with no disclosure of their status."

Wow that is scary per my friend in the industry the local Ford dealer was sending the new flooded vehicles to be crushed to avoid any liability.

I though about leasing something if I could get it cheap enough until the inventory get back to normal. I cannot imagine the local dealers have any motivation to cut consumers a break.


Don’t buy any used car that was registered in FL or TX in 2017, will be good advice for many years to come.

Whenever you have supply decrease by 500K, prices will go up. Will it mean a formerly $20K car will sell for $25K? No. But the huge discounts we’ve been accustomed to may be tempered for a few months as all those people go out and buy new cars with insurance checks over the next few months. But long term I doubt this will be anything more than a blip on prices.

Plus it will probably be limited to certain types of cars. Given it was Houston, I’d venture to guess a lot more F150s were flooded than Teslas. So F150s and other trucks will be impacted but Teslas, not so much. In Miami, everyone and their brother has a BMW it seems, so BMWs will be affected. That type of thing.

  1. While in Texas, we do tax the entire value of the car, our license and registration fees are next to nothing; like less than $200 on an $80k car. Plus we have no state income tax and low sales tax.
  2. Ditto, government and DMV fees are less than a $100
  3. We passed the EV funding this summer; we are re-instating an up to $2,500 EV rebate beginning in Spring 2018
  4. Tolls are tentatively waived through all of September
  5. Come on now, the state has to make money somehow!
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I see way more Tesla Model S’s and BMW 3 series in central Houston than I do F150s. The F150s just won’t fit in urban garages and parking lots. I can’t even fit a 2018 Volvo S90 in my garage.

But sure, outside of central Houston, there are a lot of trucks, and GM has already announced $1,000 rebates for every model it makes plus even bigger incentives on trucks and SUVs. Respectable dealers on this forum are now doing sub $300 deals on $47k Silverados.

But I think @Ultgar is right to be worried. A suburban Toyota sales manager said:
“It’s going to cost us a week of business but boy, oh boy, after the flood business is going to be good for the next 60 days.”

Also, the day before the storm, a Chevy dealer was advertising $3,000 off of Volts as a “Back to School” promotion. The day after the flooding stopped, advertised pricing went back up to MSRP with no mention of “Back to School” even though the start date of school got pushed to September 11.

To the one percent and Texan oil barons, $200 here and $100 there is probably a night out, a mani/pedi or a pet treat. But for my hombres, the poor huddled masses, that could be a week’s worth of groceries or rent. So we appreciate whatever we can get. And if someone feels like they don’t need those pittances, we could make it optional, so the oil barons can continue paying tolls and DMV fees. Same with 2.5k EV rebate. If you want to keep the state running, and the 2.5k is your weekend play money, no need to send in your rebate form.

Oh don’t bring up the “hombres”! Houston didn’t vote for a wall.

We will need to replace the signs that say “Looters will be shot” with “Slimy car salesmen will be shot”