GMC’s inventory levels remain significantly higher than the 56 days supply for the U.S. auto industry as a whole, according to the latest inventory report from Cox Automotive. Big Red’s new vehicle inventory is also above the 60 days supply usually considered optimal by vehicle sales organizations such as the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA).
The elevated inventory of new GMC vehicles at dealerships may be related to a growing backlog of unsold GM pickup trucks earlier in Q1 2023. Among the models not selling quickly enough to draw down supply was the GMC Sierra pickup, According to recent information, the GMC Sierra was running at approximately 80 days supply in late March.
GM halted production of the GMC Sierra and the Chevy Silverado at the Fort Wayne Assembly plant located in Indiana starting on March 27th, 2023. The production pause was scheduled to last two weeks and help bring truck inventory down closer to the 60-day optimum. The Chevy Silverado was running at 80 to 90 days supply in March, although Chevy was under 60 days supply overall.
The backlog of GMC Sierra trucks echoes wider trends in the automotive market, with Ram 1500 trucks currently running at 100 days supply. Cox Automotive notes 86 days supply for full-size pickup truck nameplates on average for March 2023, while the overall auto sector had 56 days supply during the month.
The inventory report shows that both new vehicle supply and sales are strengthening across the automotive sector. Subcompact and compact vehicles with affordable price tags had the lowest days supply for March, with several of the most popular having less than 30 days supply at dealerships.
Cox Automotive senior analyst Charlie Chesbrough said that increased supply is helping to drive sales as more vehicles are available for customers to purchase. He stated that “higher sales have been boosted, in part, by improving inventory, which has been running at around 1.8 million or so for the past several weeks.”
Chesbrough also noted that 30-day new vehicle sales exceeded 1 million units “for the first time since early September 2021.” While down from pre-pandemic levels, inventory has rebounded by 70 percent year over year, up by 780,000 vehicles from March 2022. March 2023 ended with 1.89 million new cars in dealer inventories.
Incentives remain low by historical standards, but finally climbed to an average 3.2 percent, higher than the almost nonexistent incentives of previous months. At the same time, dealer prices fell to parity with MSRP in March 2023, ending a 20-month streak during which sticker prices were up to several thousand dollars higher on average than suggested retail price.