Inventory levels dip to lowest since Jan.

June 17, 2019 12:00 AM UPDATED 7 HOURS AGO
Inventory levels dip to lowest since Jan.
LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

U.S. vehicle inventories, though still elevated, inched down in May to their lowest point since the start of the year as automakers and dealers cleared unsold cars and light trucks with the help of strong sales over Memorial Day weekend.

Dealers and automakers began June with an estimated 3,992,100 vehicles on hand in the U.S., a 65-day supply, according to figures compiled by the Automotive News Data Center.

On a days’ supply basis, stocks were flat from the same point in 2018 but down sharply from 78 days a month earlier.

The number of vehicles fell below 4 million for the first time since Jan. 1, when inventory was estimated at 3,921,000 units.

While sales of cars seem to have stabilized across the broader U.S. market — they represented just less than 29 percent of total light-vehicle sales in May — the inventory of cars now lags the market.

Automakers and dealers opened June with an estimated 1,022,500 unsold cars, a 59-day supply that represents about 26 percent of total inventory.

No automaker or brand had less than a month’s supply of inventory, with Subaru again running the leanest levels.

Meanwhile, a pair of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles marked the opposite ends of the inventory spectrum on June 1: Dealers had just a 10-day supply of the Dodge Grand Caravan but an industry-worst 254-day supply of the Fiat 500L.

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