Buick has the highest inventory levels of any of GM’s four main brands during the month of June 2023, with more than 100 days supply of new vehicles on dealer lots. A 60 days supply is considered to be a theoretical optimum by the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) and market analysis firms.
While elevated, the Buick new inventory level indicated by Cox Automotive research is actually dropping relative to previous months, especially the winter months of late 2022 and early 2023.
The Tri-Shield had 140 days supply in December 2022 and 120 days supply in February 2023, Buick had approximately 105 days of inventory last month. Classified as a luxury brand by Cox, Buick was one of four brands with the highest overall inventory, with Jaguar, Lincoln, Infiniti as the other three brands with 100 days supply.
The automotive sector as a whole was running at 53 days supply during June. Lower priced vehicles continue to register below-average inventory levels, with 31 days supply of new vehicles at the $20,000 price point and below. Vehicles costing $80,000 or more are at approximately 60 days supply. Those priced in between have higher inventories, between 62 and 72 days on average.
Sales shot up 20 percent year over year compared to June 2022, as “individuals and businesses that could not find their product or a price they were willing to pay last year” took advantage of newly increased availability, according to Cox economist Charlie Chesbrough.
Prices increased somewhat for the whole automotive market, rising by 3 percent in June. However, for the luxury sector where brands like Buick operate, average prices dipped, though this is partly an artefact of Tesla’s deep price cuts, with the EV maker discounting its vehicles by approximately 11 percent in 2023’s first half.
The modest growth in overall prices, which is keeping pace with the current U.S. inflation rate, indicates strong sales have been matched by robust production. At the same time, bigger incentives are being offered, reaching the levels seen last in 2021. The average June incentive was 4.2 percent of the average transaction price (ATP).
Incentives are higher for luxury vehicles such as Buick, with the average in the luxury segment topping the charts at 7.4 percent of ATP. EVs registered the next highest incentives at 7.1 percent of new vehicle ATP. Luxury vehicle sales accounted for 18.8 percent of U.S. market share for June, up from May’s 18.4 percent.
U.S. auto market June inventory ended the month at 1.95 million new vehicles, reaching a level last seen in April 2021. Relative to June 2022 this number rose by 835,000 vehicles, an increase of 75 percent.