Strikes bit into inventories at Chrysler Corp. and General Motors in April, with Chrysler hit the hardest.
Nevertheless, the supply of light vehicles rose to 67 days as of May 1. On April 1, the supply of new cars and light trucks was 60 days, the lowest in six months.
GM's days' supply rose to 76 days, from 72 a month earlier. Ford Motor Co. also rose, from 63 to 72 days, with increases in both cars and trucks.
Chrysler Corp.'s 67-day supply was down one day, but the drop hit Chrysler where it hurts: in trucks. Cars gained. Chrysler said the recently settled strike at an engine plant resulted in a pretax loss of $750 million.
General Motors lost production to two strikes in April, but the strikes seemed to have a limited effect on most models, except the new Oldsmobile Cutlass.
In terms of inventory, the biggest strike-related effect for GM was at its Oklahoma City plant, sole source for the Cutlass. The Cutlass supply fell to 5,300 units as of May 1, from 6,800 a month earlier. The plant was still building up Cutlass production when the strike began April 4.
The Oklahoma City strike had a lesser effect on the supply of the new Chevrolet Malibu, which also is built in smaller volume in Wilmington, Del.
GM's Pontiac East plant was shut by a UAW walkout on April 23. Two other plants continued to build the Chevrolet C/K and GMC Sierra full-sized pickups. The strike started too late in the month to affect the May 1 inventory. In fact, days' supply and units in inventory both increased compared to April 1.