U.S. inventories of new cars and trucks rose for much of the industry last month, even as a sales rebound whittled down some stocks.
Automakers reported a 67-day supply of vehicles as of Dec. 1, up from a 63-day supply one month earlier. Both car and truck stocks were higher. Car inventories rose from a 56-day supply at the start of November to a 61-day pool Dec. 1. Trucks rose from a 70-day stock to 72 days.
But pockets of the industry remain noticeably low in supply after the November sales period. The month concluded with a gain of nearly 12 percent over November 1998.
Mitsubishi, which reported its biggest selling month in its history in November, began December with a 25-day supply of vehicles, down sharply from the 47-day pool it held one month earlier. The franchise held a spectacularly low inventory of domestic cars as of Dec. 1 - a five-day supply, compared with a 42-day supply Nov. 1. A Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc. spokesman said the change is part of a new program to reduce inventory levels.
Ford Motor Co. also saw a steep reduction in its day-supply of Taurus, again following a big November for the nameplate. On Dec. 1, Ford saw a 30-day supply of the Taurus, compared with a 40-day supply a month earlier.
General Motors added the largest volume to industry stocks. December began with nearly 68,000 more GM cars and trucks on the ground than November did, elevating GM's inventory from a 79-day supply to an 88-day supply. On Oct. 1, the company had a 61-day supply.