Inventory levels continue to stagnate in the U.S. at just over a million vehicles as continuing supplier issues block automaker attempts to boost production, despite a slowdown in sales, according to Cox Automotive and the Automotive News Research & Data Center.
Cox estimates in its most recent survey that inventory declined in July to 1.02 million vehicles, down by about 98,000 from where it stood a month earlier and marking the seventh consecutive month that inventory has stayed between 1 million and 1.1 million. Cox said the total represented a 37-day supply, based on its practice of using the selling rate from the most recent 30-day period. That compares with a 35-day supply a month earlier and a 31-day supply at the same point last year, when Cox estimated inventory at 1.2 million.
Among the seven automakers that continue to report sales and inventory data to the Automotive News Research & Data Center, Subaru still had the tightest supply, at three days, with other Asian brands also running lean because of their long supply lines.
For example, the Toyota brand began August with 86,696 vehicles, representing a 15-day supply. Of that, just 9,530 were in dealers' hands, with the remainder still in the delivery pipeline. Lexus had a 20-day supply, at 18,094 vehicles, but only 4,728 were at dealerships.
Ford continued to have the strongest inventory levels among reporting brands, at a 40-day supply. Among mass-market segments, Cox estimates supplies are tightest among small cars, minivans and vehicles with electrified powertrains.