The industry's rush to build more crossovers and SUVs has produced an abundance of light trucks and not enough of the cars that consumers continue to buy.
While the number of light trucks in inventory rose slightly last month, the number of unsold cars fell to its lowest point since November 2011.
The inventory mix now is several percentage points away from the overall sales mix between cars and light trucks, according to figures compiled by the Automotive News Data Center.
Overall, automakers and dealers had an estimated 4,004,700 unsold vehicles to start July, a 69-day supply that was up slightly from the 3,992,100 vehicles on hand at the start of June and roughly flat from a year earlier.
But within that gross number, product moves in recent years by several automakers away from sedans, coupes and hatchbacks — and toward crossovers, SUVs and other light trucks — have begun to play out in the inventories on dealership lots.
There were an estimated 1,008,000 unsold cars to begin July, a 60-day supply, making up just more than 25 percent of total inventory.
For comparison, car sales in the U.S. have accounted for 29.4 percent of total sales through the first six months of the year.
Automotive inventories have been tracking higher than 2018 but are below where they were in 2017.