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The Associated Press
Thursday, March 17, 2011; 6:16 PM

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Dealers raise some car prices after Japan crisis

DETROIT (AP) - The disaster in Japan could slow shipments of popular cars like Toyota's Prius to auto lots. And many dealers are already taking advantage of expected shortages to raise prices.

Buyers will now typically have to pay sticker prices, instead of enjoying discounts that had been the norm for small cars and hybrids imported from Japan. Besides the Prius, models that suddenly cost more include Honda's Insight, Fit and CR-V; Toyota's Yaris; and several Acuras and Infinitis.

Dealers are acting on the possibility that disruptions in car deliveries from Japan will cause a shortage of higher-demand vehicles. Demand will exceed supply.

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Diet Coke passes Pepsi to become No. 2 soda in US

Diet Coke has topped rival Pepsi-Cola for the first time to become the second-most popular soft drink in the country behind Coca-Cola. It marks a victory for Coca-Cola Co. as its sodas now hold the top two spots, beating out its longtime rival PepsiCo Inc.

Diet Coke's rise reflects a long-term trend toward diet sodas. Ten years ago, only two of the top 10 were diet sodas. Now, four are on the list: the diet versions of Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Dr Pepper.

Coca-Cola sold nearly 927 million cases of its diet soda in 2010, to Pepsi's 892 million, a report by trade publication Beverage Digest released Thursday said.

Regular Coke remains far and away the most popular soda, selling 1.6 billion cases.

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© 2011 The Associated Press

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