The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the auto industry, delaying launches, halting production, and necessitating new safety protocols. However, much like the rest of society, the auto industry is finding a “new normal” amidst the pressures of the pandemic. That includes a new normal for GM inventory, which looks as though it will be running lean for the foreseeable future with regard to the Chevy Trailblazer and Chevy Blazer crossovers.
In a recent interview with GM Authority executive editor Alex Luft, senior marketing manager for Chevrolet SUVs, Brad Franz, discussed how General Motors was coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with regard to shoring up overall GM inventory.
“We’ve had challenges like we’ve never seen in the industry, but we’ve worked through that,” Franz told GM Authority. “So it was a couple of things – we worked with our manufacturing teams and things of that nature, so I think we did a pretty good job of managing through that and getting the product here the best we could. The other thing we did to give us an advantage is really sit down and concentrate on mix, and focus our dealer network on what’s really selling the fastest, and our network team responded to that.”
When asked about GM inventory in terms of the Chevy Blazer and Chevy Trailblazer, Franz declined to provide a specific figure with regard to days supply, but did say it continues to be lean.
“When we’re selling at the rate that we’re selling them, inventory is tight,” Franz told GM Authority. “So the build up is challenging. We are starting to rebound, but [inventory] is tight. We are selling them as fast as we get them on dealer lots, Trailblazer in particular.”
As GM Authority covered previously, the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is selling quickly, turning in just 36 days on average. Sales performance for both models has shown strength this year, especially when considering the circumstances.
Chevrolet Blazer, Trailblazer Sales - Q3 2020 - USA
|MODEL||Q3 20 / Q3 19||Q3 20||Q3 19||YTD 20 / YTD 19||YTD 20||YTD 19|
However, with that sales performance comes tight inventory, which may be the new normal for General Motors.
“We will just have to live in an environment where we get a little more comfortable running lean,” Franz told GM Authority. “We’re definitely a little leaner than we want to be, but we still believe we have the inventory on the ground to hit our objective.”
When asked about a potential increase to production capacity, Franz responded by saying that there are currently no production changes to announce, but that demand would be met regardless.
“We will always make sure that we meet consumer demand,” Franz said.