The midmonth UAW strike at General Motors bled off some excess inventory in September, but a weaker selling rate last month left the days supply higher than it was a month ago and at this time last year.
Dealers and automakers held an estimated 3,728,200 unsold cars and light trucks at the beginning of October, representing a 68-day supply. The figure was about 20,000 vehicles lower than it was at the same point a year ago, but still about 7,500 higher than at the start of September, according to estimates by the Automotive News Data Center.
Production stoppages at GM because of the strike have impacted the automaker's U.S.-assembled products, while parts shortages have hindered production in Canada and Mexico. However, even with the lost production, GM was estimated to have a nearly 80-day supply.
Industrywide, the number of unsold cars continues to drop. Over 100,000 vehicles have been shed since the beginning of July to 902,900, a 61-day supply, while the number of unsold light trucks climbed to 2,825,300, a 70-day supply. Cars represented about 24 percent of the vehicles in inventory across the U.S. and almost 27 percent of industry sales in September.
Volkswagen of America and Mitsubishi Motors North America were the only two automakers with more than a 100-day supply of inventory on hand to start October, while Subaru of America was the only automaker to turn over its entire inventory in less than a month.