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Hurricane Michael

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Article Highlights

  1. Looking at the area to be most affected by Hurricane Michael, Jonathan Smoke and the Cox Automotive Industry Insights team are estimating that vehicle loss rates will be lower—perhaps half—the numbers lost in Hurricane Florence last month.
  2. Hurricane Michael is directly hitting a less-densely-populated section of Florida and the fast-moving nature of the storm will likely mean less-severe flooding inland, away from the storm surge.
  3. Considering vehicle registrations, population and the nature of the event, vehicle losses will likely be in the range of 10,000 to 20,000. While significant, that volume should have minimal impact on the overall U.S. auto industry.

Hurricane Michael is hitting the Florida Panhandle today as a strong Category 4 hurricane. Reports from the National Hurricane Center indicate maximum sustained winds of 145 mph—a major weather event.

Looking at the area to be most affected by the storm, Jonathan Smoke and the Cox Automotive Industry Insights team are estimating that vehicle loss rates will be lower—perhaps half—the numbers lost in Hurricane Florence last month. Hurricane Michael is directly hitting a less-densely-populated section of Florida and the fast moving nature of the storm will likely mean less-severe flooding inland, away from the storm surge. Property damage will likely be significant due to flooding at the coast, but evacuations will help reduce the number of vehicles lost.

Considering vehicle registrations, population and the nature of the event, vehicle losses will likely be in the range of 10,000 to 20,000. While significant, that volume should have minimal impact on the overall U.S. auto industry.

As both new- and used-vehicle inventories are relatively low, our team is expecting temporary upward pricing pressure in the areas most impacted by the storm, particularly on the used-vehicle side. Any vehicle loss is a tragedy and hardship for someone. Fortunately, in this case, loss volume will be relatively low.

The Cox Automotive Industry Insights team will be tracking the storm’s progress over the next few days and will share any significant updates.

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