The number of new Buick vehicles in dealership inventories increased sharply in October 2023, once again standing out as the GM brand with the highest levels of unsold vehicles on lots per Cox Automotive data.
The Tri-Shield had 107 days supply of vehicles in inventory at the end of October, a 30.5 percent surge compared to the 82 days supply it had on hand at the end of September. It was also significantly above the 94 days supply the brand registered during August.
Buick dealers will have no problems filling customer orders in the immediate future, with 60 days supply considered an optimum level by many in the automotive industry. The recent Stand Up Strike by the UAW appears to have had little impact on the Tri-Shield brand’s inventory levels.
In fact, the UAW strike did not prevent two more GM brands from keeping more than the ideal 60 days supply on dealership lots. Days supply for Chevy and GMC stood at 66 and 71 respectively. Only Cadillac, with 48 days supply, was below the threshold, but even its inventory grew somewhat compared to August and September.
Buick’s inventory growth tracks the auto market as a whole, though at a faster pace. Charlie Chesbrough, a senior economist at Cox, remarked on how “days of supply is creeping higher as the sales pace is slowing at the start of this year’s final quarter.” Supply was at 67 days at October’s end, up from 60 days in September and 41 percent higher year-over-year compared to October 2022.
Chesbrough went on to explore the reasons for weakening sales and rising inventories, observing “market headwinds from high interest rates and high prices are muting sales.” He predicted “greater discounting from the automakers seems likely,” but that if these stronger incentives fail to materialize then “the days of supply will rise even further.”
Overall vehicle supply has skyrocketed year-over-year as supply chain constraints end. Dealers had 2.4 million new vehicles in stock as of October 2023, a 62-percent surge above the roughly 1.48 million in inventories in October 2022.