U.S. consumers binged on light trucks in October like never before, giving automakers a mild car inventory hangover.
Industrywide stocks rose to a 73-day supply on Nov. 1 from 64 days a month earlier. But stocks typically rise this time of year as automakers rush to fill showrooms with new model-year vehicles. And the overall Nov. 1 stocks are almost exactly at the 72-day average for this date over the past 10 years.
The industry's overall inventory may be normal to start November, but after an October during which light-truck sales captured an unprecedented 63 percent of total volume, car stocks are unusually high, rising 13 to 76 days, while trucks increased just six to 71 days.
The days supply of cars jumped double digits for five of the seven highest-volume U.S. players between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1, led by FCA US' 26-day surge to 104 days. Part comes from stockpiles of two discontinued sedans, the Chrysler 200 at 171 days and Dodge Dart with 151. But FCA also has 128 days of Fiat 500s and 129 days of Dodge Challengers.
General Motors' supply of cars rose by 22 days to 98 days on Nov. 1. Nissan North America's car supply also went up by 22 days, to 85 days. American Honda's car stocks rose 15 days to an 85-day supply. Toyota-Scion was up by 11 days, to 71 days. Ford Motor Co. was up by nine days, to 84 days.
The only major player not adding sharply to car stocks during October was Hyundai-Kia. Its days supply of cars rose modestly to 53 from 49, while trucks stayed at 56 days.