According to Automotive News, GM averaged 87-days worth of Chevrolet Silverado inventory at its U.S. dealers in March, compared to 120 days of supply during the same time period in 2019.
The automaker was already running short on pickup inventory in late 2019 and early 2020 due to the 2019 UAW strike, which brought its U.S. production plants to a standstill for 40 days last fall. The automaker found it difficult to build up pickup inventory following the strike due to the popularity of the trucks, and just as it was beginning to get more trucks to dealers, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced the plants to close down again.
The pandemic inventory shortage has compounded with the previous UAW inventory shortage, as well, making things even more difficult for GM this time around.
Mike Maroone, CEO of dealer group Maroone USA, told AN the Silverado and Sierra is currently “very dry,” in a recent interview.
“It’s very similar (to the UAW strike inventory glut) except coming into the UAW strike, we had adequate inventory,” Maroone explained to AN. “Coming into this disruption, we had not yet recovered from the strike. We’ve been taking active allocations, but they’re just stuck in the system right now.”
Also adding to the shortage are the strong incentives GM is currently offering on certain vehicles to help drive sales amid the pandemic. No interest, seven-year loans have helped dealers move metal amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but with production plants remaining shut down, GM has been unable to replenish their supplies.
The Detroit Big Three are currently in talks with the UAW to decide when employees should return to work and restart production. FCA had expressed a desire to get its most important plants up and running early this month, such as those that make its Ram trucks, but the UAW has cautioned against restarting too early and undoing any progress the country has made to curb the spread of the virus.
Source: Automotive News