Low inventory levels in the U.S. continue to be a struggle for franchised auto dealers, as they fell again in August to 2.26 million vehicles — down another 70,000 vehicles from July and 870,000 from a year earlier, according to figures compiled by Cox Automotive.
It is the tightest industry level since October 2011, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Cox estimates that sales in August fell 19 percent — in part because the month had two fewer sales days than August 2019 — meaning the industry had a 56-day supply of vehicles.
Most automakers no longer report monthly sales or inventory levels. However, among those that do, Subaru reported just a 16-day supply of vehicles, while Toyota, Hyundai-Kia, Honda, Mazda and Volvo all had at least a 40-day supply.
Cox estimates that luxury-brand inventories saw the sharpest declines in August, dropping to a 56-day supply from 65 days in July. Slowed model-year changeovers also are impacting supply levels, with only 2.5 percent of current inventory representing the 2021 model year, compared with 19 percent of inventory levels a year ago.