GM was named as one of the major automakers that most heavily relies on vehicles that are on the way to dealer lots, listing in-transit vehicles in available inventory to help meet consumer demand.
According to a recent report from Cloud Theory, a supply and demand-related automotive insights group, all four of GM’s U.S. brands (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC) were included in the top 10 makes with regard to in-transit inventory mix, with Chevy ranked third at 40.1 percent, GMC ranked sixth at 35.5 percent, Buick ranked seventh at 34.9 percent, and Cadillac ranked eighth at 34.1 percent. The top of the list was occupied by Subaru at 57.1 percent, followed by Audi in second place with 50.2 percent.
The Cloud Theory analysis looked at in-transit vehicles versus in-stock inventory data, finding that new vehicle inventory levels available on dealer websites increased by 61 percent between July of 2022 and January of 2023, with 68 percent of the increase attributed to in-transit vehicles. Additionally, over a quarter of all new vehicles listed on dealer websites were in-transit.
The in-transit inventory also affects sales, with 40 percent of vehicles listed as in-transit in January of 2023 already sold. Vehicles that were classified as in-transit accounted for nearly 17 percent of new vehicle sales.
“This in-transit dynamic will continue to be an important tool for dealers and OEMs to balance the two sides of that equation for the next 12 – 18 months,” said Vice President, Data Science and Analytics at Cloud Theory, Rick Wainschel.
Following widespread production stoppages and supply chain issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, new vehicle inventory reached its lowest point in October of the 2021 calendar year at roughly 850,000 units, per Cloud Theory. New vehicle inventory remained low, hovering around 1,000,000 units until July of the 2022 calendar year. In response to this “pent-up demand,” dealers began to aggressively list vehicles as “in transit,” signaling to consumers that new vehicles were one the way. The use of “in-transit” inventory listing has since stabilized.