Light-vehicle inventories continue to bump along at low levels, thanks to strong sales.
The industry reported a 51-day supply as of Sept. 1, up from 50 days a month earlier. That is also in line with year-ago figures, but a year ago, General Motors was recovering from strikes that had stripped its shelves bare.
This year, August sales were up 20.4 percent vs. a year ago. That also helped keep inventories low. A 60-day supply is considered ideal.
GM had a 58-day supply on Sept. 1, vs. 59 days a month earlier. Stocks fell sharply for the Chev-rolet Lumina and Monte Carlo, with help from high incentives. Both models are redesigned for the 2000 model year.
Ford Motor Co. stocks gained slightly, from 52 days on Aug. 1 to 53 a month later. The F-series pickup, the industry sales leader, gained from 55 to 65 days, while Ford car supplies fell overall. Daily rental fleets stocked up on Ford Contours and Mercury Mystiques in August, and Ford has been cutting back production of those cars as well.
DaimlerChrysler had a 63-day supply, up from 53 a month earlier. Its minivans - the Dodge Cara-van/Grand Caravan, Plymouth Voyager/Grand Voyager and Chrysler Town & Country - all gained sharply. Through Oct. 4, the company is offering incentives on 2000 minivans, and upped its incentives on leftover 1999 minivans.
Meanwhile, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. is having no trouble selling its Odyssey minivan - except for keeping up with demand. At the end of August, the company said it had only a five-day supply of the Odyssey. That number is not broken out in Honda's regular monthly report.