New Vehicle Inventory up 40% Year over Year as Prices Stabilize

From Automotive Fleet, July 14 2023:

New-vehicle inventory and prices stabilized further in June while electric vehicle inventory climbed, closing the month with twice the days’ supply as new vehicles overall, according to Cox Automotive’s analysis of vAuto Available Inventory data.

The total U.S. supply of available unsold new vehicles stood at 1.95 million units at the end of June, off only slightly from a revised 1.96 million at the end of May, when inventory marked the highest level since April 2021. Inventory numbers include vehicles available on dealer lots and some in transit. As June closed, supply was up 75% from a year ago, or 835,000 units higher.

Days of supply stood at 53 at the end of June, up 39% from a year ago when days’ supply was 38. Days’ supply has been relatively stable for much of the year, hovering in the mid-50s. Historically, a 60-day supply across the industry was considered normal and ideal.

The Cox Automotive days’ supply is based on the daily sales rate for the most recent 30-day period ended June 26, when 1.1 million vehicles were sold, up 26% from the same period in the previous year.

“Sales of new vehicles closed the first half of 2023 surprisingly strong,” said Cox Automotive senior economist Charlie Chesbrough said in a recent news release. “Pent-up demand from individuals and businesses that could not find their product or a price they were willing to pay last year was unleashed.”

New-vehicle sales in June rose 20% from last June and posted the highest volume since May 2021. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales (SAAR) climbed to 15.7 million in June, up from May’s 15.1 million rate and 13 million in the year-ago June. Sales into fleet and increasing incentives supported the sales gain.

While inventory is up substantially compared to 2021 and 2022 levels, it remains low by historical standards. In pre-pandemic, pre-chip shortage June 2019, new-vehicle supply totaled 2.72 million units for an 86 days’ supply.

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