Inventories increased slightly in April to a 58-day supply on May 1 vs. a 55-day supply the previous month.
Comparing May 1 with April 1, units in inventory were flat at about 3.2 million light vehicles. U.S. light vehicle sales in April were 1.4 million. That was 4.8 percent lower than March sales, so the same number of units represented a slightly higher days' supply.
April sales were 7 percent higher than the year-ago month. That was the first year-over-year increase in monthly sales since December 2001.
"April sales were absolutely blistering," said Scott Hill, auto industry analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York.
U.S. light-truck sales were 10.2 percent higher than the year-ago month. Hill called General Motors' sales "bone-crushing" in a May 2 newsletter. The automaker's April sales were 17.2 percent ahead of the year-ago month. GM had a 62-day supply on May 1, the same as on April 1.
Accordingly, GM last month hiked its second-quarter production forecast in North America to about 1.5 million light vehicles, 12 percent higher than the year-ago quarter.
Ford Motor Co. had a 70-day supply on May 1, up from 64 April 1. Ford Motor's second-quarter production forecast for North America is about 1.2 million light vehicles, 4.4 percent ahead of the year-ago quarter.