Inventory levels have stabilized in a healthy range for most automakers over the last several months as companies continue to react to a slowing U.S. light-vehicle market by tapping the brakes on production.
Automakers and dealers had an estimated 3,749,500 unsold vehicles in inventory on Oct. 1, a 65-day supply. That's down from the 3,809,200 vehicles on hand at the same point in 2017, also a 65-day supply. Industrywide inventory at the beginning of September was 69 days' supply.
Inventory levels continue to mirror the market. Automakers and dealers had an estimated 1,022,600 unsold cars in their stocks on Oct. 1, about 27 percent of the total. Light trucks accounted for the remainder. If current trends hold, the supply of unsold cars in the U.S. could fall below 1 million this month for the first time since November 2011.
With a 24-day supply, Subaru of America continues to have, by far, the tightest inventory levels in the U.S., at both the brand and manufacturer levels.
BMW of North America was second among automakers, at 45 days, and Mercedes-Benz USA was third tightest, at 48 days. Mitsubishi Motors North America had the highest stock among manufacturers, with a 124-day supply.
At the brand level, BMW's 42-day supply was second to Subaru. Audi was third, at 44 days. At the other end of the spectrum, four brands had inventory levels well into triple digits: Fiat, at 196 days; Buick, at 143 days; Mitsubishi, at 124 days; and Jaguar, at 123 days.