DETROIT -- While General Motors is restarting truck production it had halted because of the UAW strike at American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc., auto dealers say theyre in no hurry to get more trucks on their lots. They have plenty.
Even though GM stopped filling orders for some trucks this month, dealers around the country interviewed today said theyre not losing truck business because of American Axle-related inventory problems.
Weve got a lot of inventory thats still sitting on the ground, says Doug Niemeyer, sales manager for Buick, Pontiac and GMC at Bommarito Automotive Group in Ellisville, Mo.
The same went for Bommaritos commercial fleet operations. Mike Hawk, who manages the groups commercial fleet sales, says he hadnt seen any adverse effects from the strike.
In Miami, Lehman Buick-Pontiac-GMC has at least a three-month supply of trucks, says Jim Crain, GMC manager for the dealer.
On May 1, there was at least a three-month supply of most GM trucks in the United States. There were enough GMC Envoys to last 101 days, based on the April selling rate. It would have taken 122 days for GM and its dealers to sell the 174,400 Chevrolet Silverados they had on hand May 1.
But its likely that those supplies will last even longer given that demand for fuel-hungry trucks has fallen off as average gasoline prices have risen 9.6 percent in the last month, according to AAA.
Bill Maines, a manager at Kerry Automotive in Cincinnati, called the dealerships GM truck inventory great and said inventory problems werent hurting business.
Some dealers did say they had trouble getting enough Buick Enclaves to meet customer demand, but production of those vehicles was stopped by a separate UAW strike at GMs Delta Township plant near Lansing, Mich., not by the American Axle strike.
GM and its dealers started the month with much lower stocks of the Enclave and GMC Acadia -- a 38-day supply of Enclaves and a 54-day supply of Acadias, based on the April sales rate.