Chrysler has highest stocks since Ch. 11
DETROIT -- Chrysler Group's supply of unsold vehicles is the highest it has been since since April 2009, the month Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 reorganization.
On Dec. 1, Chrysler reported a 90-day supply of unsold vehicles, including a 102-day supply of unsold cars and an 85-day supply of unsold pickups, SUVs and other vehicles. The inventory levels are 50 percent higher than the 60-day supply the company has tried to maintain since exiting bankruptcy in June 2009.
A company spokesman said the inventory will support the automaker's year-end marketing push, which it calls its Big Finish event.
December traditionally is Chrysler dealers' biggest sales month. Dealers also are ramping up inventory for newly released 2013 Ram 1500 pickups and Dodge Dart sedans.
Asked in November about Chrysler's rising inventory levels, CEO Sergio Marchionne said the increases were planned to adequately stock dealerships for year-end sales events. He said inventories would return to more traditional levels in early 2013.
With inventories high, Chrysler will close most assembly operations for the traditional two-week shutdown at the end of the month, unlike the past two years.
A Chrysler spokeswoman said that one shift of workers in the part of the Toledo Assembly Complex that builds Jeep Wranglers will work a full shift on Dec. 28, but that the plant, and the rest of Chrysler's assembly plants, will remain idle for the rest of the Dec. 24-Jan. 1 period.
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