Supply chain disruptions cause The automaking industry was hit especially hard by the natural disasters that battered Japan on March 11. A recently released report illustrates how the supply chain disruptions emanating from the crisis have eroded revenue at a number of carmakers.

J.D. Power and Associates released a report Thursday that states May automobile sales are off to a "dismal start" as lower sales incentives, high gas prices and dwindling inventories coalesce to suppress demand. Carmakers like General Motors, Toyota, Nissan and Honda have all had to grapple with components shortages and decreased manufacturing capacity following the shock to the Japanese infrastructure.

Industry watchers had expected car sales to slow as global automakers reported slowdowns in production capacity, but the disappointing news worried analysts who fear sales will continue to decline.

J.D. Power said North American automobile production will be reduced by roughly 400,000 vehicles in the short-term, with total U.S. sales expected to hit 11.9 million light vehicles during the month of May - only a 6 percent increase from May 2010. In April, 13.2 million cars were sold, illustrating the overall contraction the sector experienced.

Nonetheless, J.D. Power projects car sales during the second half of 2011 to continue at the brisk pace they showed prior to the crisis.
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