|The dealers’ lots are slowly filling up again|
It has been the top priority for every retailer for at least 18 months.
It was the single biggest thing holding back sales, regardless of brand.
It has put millions of consumers off buying a new vehicle.
It’s not the economy – it’s the inventory.
Now, thanks to an unwanted helping hand from high interest rates and low incentives that have slowed the rate of sales, the stock of new cars is increasing againand is picking up speed, as we explain in Monday’s issue of Automotive News.
According to Cox Automotive and the Automotive News Research & Date CenterNew car inventories have surpassed 1.8 million for the first time since May 2021, giving dealers who have spent much of the last two years finding creative ways to keep customers waiting a chance to at least some of their desires to be fulfilled after immediate delivery.
Of course, there’s nothing magical about 1.8 million as a guide Inventory of new vehicles in the United States, especially when the industry had more than double that available at any given time so long before the pandemic. What is notable, however, is the pace at which inventories are being rebuilt: According to Cox, the industry has added almost 500,000 vehicles to inventory since the end of September and more than 715,000 more vehicles in lots or on the way than a year ago.
For longtime traders historically low inventories were uncomfortable, albeit profitable. And they’ve allowed dealers and brands to experiment in unprecedented ways to find the right vehicle stocks. The big question is, will this discipline endure?