Swelling inventories at the Toyota-Scion and Volkswagen brands in June accounted for a mild increase in U.S. industry stocks of unsold vehicles to start July.
On a unit basis, the industry added 98,500 vehicles, to 3.3 million, during the month, led by an increase of 79,400 vehicles at Toyota-Scion and 15,000 at Volkswagen since June 1.
The total inventory is the highest since December 2008 but is in line with June's 16 million seasonally adjusted annual sales rate, which was the highest since November 2007.
Overall supplies rose to 61 days, based on the current selling rate. That's up from 57 a month earlier and in line with the industry ideal of 60 days.
Volkswagen brand started July with a 105-day supply, compared with 92 days a month earlier. Toyota-Scion stocks jumped to 55 days from a more characteristic 41 in June.
On a days-supply basis, General Motors and Chrysler Group had the most of the top seven automakers, Ford Motor and Nissan North America were tied in the middle, American Honda and Toyota Motor Sales were in the 50s, and Hyundai-Kia was at 46 days.
But sales of full-sized pickups are booming this year, and the Detroit 3 companies dominate the profitable segment. Dealers keep more on hand because pickups have so many powertrain and cab variations. In the first half, big pickups accounted for 24 percent of Detroit 3 sales but 32 percent of their inventory.
Factor out big pickups and the major players are much closer on inventory.