Record sales, high incentives and model-year changeovers kept light-vehicle inventories relatively low in September, despite the industry's efforts to crank out more cars and light trucks.
The industry had a 54-day supply as of Oct. 1 vs. 51 days a month earlier. That was consistent with low inventories all year, except for a typical, seasonal high in January and February.
Porsche Cars North America Inc. reported some models in single digits - that is, nine or fewer cars. Other European and Japanese luxury brands also had low stocks. Domestic rivals Lincoln and Cadillac were higher.
DaimlerChrysler stocks fell to 61 days from 63 a month earlier. Mercedes-Benz USA Inc. had a 29-day supply, including only a 16-day supply of the M-class sport-utilities.
Ford Motor Co.'s days-supply rose by six. General Motors, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., Nissan North America Inc. and American Honda Motor Co. Inc. were up four days or fewer.
Ford's report included two brand-new models - the small Ford Focus and the huge Excursion sport-utility. They officially went on sale Sept. 30. Stocks of two lame-duck models, the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique, increased sharply, as their September sales plunged.
Jaguar had only a 35-day supply, up from 32. Jaguar's September sales were almost 70 percent ahead of the year-ago month.
GM's report showed supplies of the Chevrolet Lumina dwindling to 13 days, as the company stepped up production of the new Impala. Saab Cars USA Inc. had a 41-day supply, down from 61. Saab's September sales were 73.6 percent ahead of last year's.