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Japan Events Spark Demand for Fuel-Efficient Cars

If you're thinking of turning over a new Leaf -- or at least of driving one -- you might have to wait. Due to the disaster in Japan, fuel-efficient Japanese cars, including the Toyota Prius and Honda Fit, are being snapped up by American buyers.

Two Nissan plants, the Kyushu and Nissan Shatai Kyushu facilities , are expected to resume production shortly. And, like shoppers scouring for snow shovels ahead of a blizzard, some American car buyers are anxious to ensure they'll receive their cars, and so are willing to pay a premium for them.

Prices of some fuel-friendly vehicles crept up following the earthquake and tsunami, according to . For example, in the U.S., the average price of a Prius surged by $135 directly after the March 11 disaster.

But Anthony Thomas, sales associate at Bruce Bennett Nissan in Wilton, is not concerned about a Leaf drought: "We're not going to have them in the showroom until the end of the year anyway," he says. Customer demand continues, Anthony says, in the form of queries. "People want to know when they'll be able to buy one."

Are you on the waiting list for a Leaf? Please let me know here.

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