The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on vehicle production, with widespread factory shutdowns putting a serious constraint on dealer inventories. That includes General Motors, which is reported to have a 49-day supply of vehicles in the U.S., down from the 73-day supply recorded a year prior.
Those are the figures reported by Automotive News, citing estimates from Morgan Stanley. Meanwhile, GM’s crosstown rival, Ford Motor Co., shows a 70-day supply, down from 107 days, while Stellantis dropped to 70 days from 96 days.
These figures stand in stark contrast to years prior. Back in 2005, General Motors had almost 1.2 million vehicles on dealer lots. Now, available inventory is down to a third of that, with popular items, such as GM’s full-size trucks and SUVs, sometimes selling even before they are delivered.
According to an Automotive News survey, more than half of dealers surveyed tie the low inventory to increased profit margins for new and used vehicles, with roughly 40 percent of dealers surveyed saying that those profits could disappear if inventories return to levels prior to the pandemic.
“When we’re selling at the rate that we’re selling them, inventory is tight. 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,” Franz told GM Authority.
“We will just have to live in an environment where we get a little more comfortable running lean,” Franz added. “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.”