Sales are slow, and inventory levels are moving back up.
That's the all-too-familiar dilemma facing the Big 3.
Their supply on Oct. 1 edged back up to 69 days from 59 a month earlier. Truck models, in particular, had heavier inventory, with some vehicles back up to a 100-day supply.
The total industry had a 58-day supply on Oct. 1, up from 51 days on Sept. 1. The Japanese remained in good shape with a mere 40-day supply.
Generally, a 60-day supply of vehicles is thought to be ideal.
"Record-breaking sales keep the Japanese OEMs' inventory low," John Casesa, an analyst at Merrill Lynch in New York, wrote in a research note.
"The Japanese continue to manage lean inventories; the risk is they are currently too lean."
Not so at the Chrysler group, whose truck supply skyrocketed to 93 days from 69 days on Sept. 1. The group's total supply was 82 days vs. 69 a month earlier.
The Jeep division is in the worse shape with a 101-day supply on Oct. 1, up from 65 days a month earlier. The Grand Cherokee had a 97-day supply, up from 71.
Large Ford trucks such as the Econoline Van, Expedition as well as the Lincoln Navigator were at a 100-plus day supply.
Ford Motor Co. had a 74-day supply, up from 57.
General Motors is in the best shape of the Big 3 with 60 days of vehicles, up slightly from 57 days on Sept. 1. But even some of GM's individual vehicle lines were becoming bloated.
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