May offered proof that one month of robust sales can do wonders for inventory levels. Days supply figures on June 1 fell to their lowest levels since December, and the number of unsold vehicles in inventory drifted under 4 million for the first time since January.
Automakers started June with an estimated 3,961,800 unsold vehicles, a 65-day supply. In aggregate, automakers and their dealers had a 63-day supply of unsold cars and a 66-day supply of unsold trucks, according to information and estimates compiled by the Automotive News Data Center.
All of the inventory levels were down sharply from May 1. Automakers started May with 140,300 more vehicles in inventory than on June 1, representing a 73-day supply overall. That included a 71-day supply of cars and 73 days of truck supply. The numbers also are down from where the industry was a year ago, when it ended May with 4,182,900 unsold vehicles, a 69-day supply.
Among manufacturers, Subaru of America had the leanest inventory, at 41 days, followed by BMW of North America at 44 days and Mercedes-Benz at 49. Jaguar Land Rover had the highest inventory level, at 81 days. General Motors and Volkswagen Group each posted 77-day supplies of unsold inventory.
Just four brands had inventory levels below 50 days supply: Subaru at 41, BMW at 44 and Mini and Mercedes-Benz, both with 49. At the other end of the spectrum, the troubled Fiat brand began June with an industry-high 145-day supply — the only brand with more than 100 days of unsold inventory. Jaguar began the month with a 99-day supply, while Porsche had an estimated 94 days.