Hurricane Harvey has finally passed out of the Houston area, but the extent of its effect will take some time to determine.
Houston is one of the 10 largest car markets in the nation. Cox Automotive estimates that Harvey severely damaged or destroyed between 300,000 and 500,000 vehicles in the Houston market alone were.
The impact in terms of vehicle value is estimated to fall between $2.7 billion and $4.9 billion. By measure of vehicle damage, Hurricane Harvey is likely the worst natural disaster in our country’s history.
The storm naturally halted most vehicle sales in the area, both retail and wholesale.
Cox announced that no sales would be held at Manheim Houston, Manheim Texas Hobby and Manheim South Houston during the week of Sept. 4.
Harvey also struck the west side of Louisiana.
Lake Charles Auto Auction, located just north of where Harvey made landfall, postposed its weekly sale to Sept. 1 from Aug. 30.
“We have experienced tremendous volumes of rain and experienced some flooding,” said Lake Charles owner Matt Pedersen, “but nothing like our neighbors in Texas.”
While there are few sales taking place, some Texans are scheduled to come into possession of new vehicles soon, thanks to Toyota and Lexus Financial Services.
The two captives announced they will donate pre-owned Toyota and Lexus cars, SUVs, and trucks to organizations involved in helping move people and property in the recovery efforts.
“Access to reliable means of transportation is a critical element to any disaster relief and recovery effort," said Mike Groff, president and CEO of Toyota Financial Services. "We hope that our donated vehicles will help meet the needs of those affected by Hurricane Harvey."
The finance firms are also offering a payment relief program for its customers affected by Hurricane Harvey, as are most finance providers.
The question now becomes how dealers and their customers recover from this massive natural disaster.
The Houston market already faced many challenges before the hurricane struck.