Federal officials said Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Fla., on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds surpassing 150 mph.
The second major hurricane to strike the Southeast during the past month prompted Cox Automotive experts again to project how many more vehicles will be lost because of intense wind and rain. According to an update shared with the media, including Auto Remarketing, Cox Automotive indicated losses likely will be in the range of 10,000 to 20,000 units, considering vehicle registrations, population and the nature of the event.
“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,” Cox Automotive said.
“While significant, that volume should have minimal impact on the overall U.S. auto industry,” the company added.
As both new- and used-vehicle inventories are relatively low, Cox Automotive 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,” Cox Automotive said.
After making landfall along the Florida Panhandle, Michael was predicted to steam through Georgia and the Carolinas as that area still is in recovery mode from Hurricane Florence drenching the region in September.
“I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Michael,” Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said.