New vehicle inventories still near record lows, with a twist: Fuel-efficient cars disappear, full-size pickups pile up. ram, dodge, jeep overstocked

But Kia, Toyota, Honda: almost nothing. Where there’s shortage, and where there’s ample supply, by brand and segment.

By wolf richter For wolf street,

At the end of August, inventories of new vehicles on dealer lots and in transit ticked up to 1.23 million vehicles, still the lowest level since spring 2021, down 65% from August 2019.

But increasingly, these shortages now have a new wrinkle, according to inventory data. Cox Automotive: Many fuel-efficient models have essentially disappeared from inventory, and there are long waiting lists for many of those models, and customers wait months to see what they ordered, including EVs and hybrid and compact cars While inventories of pickup trucks and others are becoming larger vehicles, and some brands like Ram and Dodge are now overstocked and offering deep discounts.

In terms of days supply, it increased from 37 days in July to 40 days at the end of August. That’s still very low, but higher than the 30-day limit set last summer. By comparison, in 2019, supply averaged 89 days, and was at a high level, with plenty of deals to be had.

Chip shortage persists, but to a lesser extent,

Monday evening, Ford announced it expected to have 40,000 to 45,000 incomplete vehicles on storage lots at the end of Q3, waiting for parts.

Since last year, automakers have been building vehicles that were missing components to keep their plants running. When the missing components arrive, automakers install them, complete the vehicles, and ship them to dealers.

GM, at the end of Q2, had 95,000 incomplete vehicles on storage lots awaiting components. Other automakers are doing the same to reduce the impact of chip shortages.

The shortage is concentrated in the specialized cheap microcontrollers and semiconductors the auto industry uses for mundane things. If one of the chips in the rear-view mirror is in short supply, the component manufacturer cannot deliver the rear-view mirror to the assembly plant, and the vehicle cannot be completed. But it can be built, and placed on a storage lot, and the vehicle can be completed when the rear-view mirror comes off.

Where are the shortages, and where is the ample supply?

As a result of rising gasoline prices this year, most fuel efficient vehicles have essentially disappeared from dealer inventory. When you look at “20 days’ supply,” you’ll find almost nothing on many dealers’ lots, and most of the vehicles shown in “inventory” are actually in transit, and many of them have already arrived before they arrived. Many have already been sold.

Seven sections with major deficiencies. Seven of the 23 major segments have 20 to 30 days of supply. This means that most of these vehicles in “inventory” are either in transit or have already been sold. When customers come to shop for one of these models, they often have nothing to choose from, and may have to order one instead.

Of these seven segments, one stands out the most in terms of fuel efficiency: high-performance cars (22.2 days’ supply). But with an average price of $110,000, they’re not exactly mass-market vehicles.

These are deficient segments – and they are frustrating for all involved customers, dealers and automakers. This data was provided by Cox Automotive.

overall rank biggest deficit segment days supply
1 Hybrid/Alternative Energy 21.2
2 subcompact car 21.6
3 high performance car 22.2
4 compact car 25.6
5 minivan 27.7
6 electric vehicle 27.9
7 mid size car 28.4

Nine segments with tight to adequate inventory, In this group, you’ll find a wide range of vehicles, and this includes a lot of SUVs and crossovers. Mid-size pickup trucks are in this segment, but not full-size pickup trucks:

overall rank tight to ample supply segment days supply
8 Luxury Full-Size SUV/Crossover 30.6
9 Compact SUV/Crossover 34.2
10 midsize pickup truck 36.3
1 1 Subcompact SUV / Crossover 37.9
12 entry level luxury car 40.7
13 Luxury Mid-Size SUV / Crossover 40.9
14 Mid-size SUV / Crossover 41.6
15 the van 43.0
16 Full Size SUV / Crossover 44.0
17 luxury car 45.2
18 Sports car 45.6

Five well-stocked sections, including full-size pickup trucks. For retail buyers, full-size pickup trucks are the most popular vehicles. The best-selling models of all time are full-size pickup trucks. It’s a huge and surprisingly profitable segment of the auto industry — and has been for many years.

During the pandemic, people went to their dealers to buy pickups, and they cleaned out the dealers, and they ordered trucks and they waited months, and some dealers sold trucks for $10,000 or $20,000 at MSRP and got away with it Went.

And automakers grappling with semiconductor shortages prioritized building high-end pickups to protect their revenue while component shortages slowed unit production.

But then the price of gasoline soared past the threshold of pain, and consumers winced and took a deep breath, while automakers were still prioritizing production of full-size high-end pickups. Sudden changes in demand cannot be adjusted quickly because supply chains are long and global and complex and cumbersome.

And now the pickup trucks are starting to pile up. On average, pickups were 59.2 days of supply at the end of August, compared with the Ram 1500 with 88 days of supply and the Chevy Silverado with 77 days of supply — meaning oversupply:

overall rank section days supply
19 Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover 54.6
20 Luxury Subcompact SUV/Crossover 56.0
21 full size pickup truck 59.2
22 high-end luxury car 60.2
23 full size car 63.7

Big discounts are back with some brands.

For example, Ram dealers are now offering huge discounts, including national and regional incentives from Stellantis. It’s like they put a minus-sign in front of an old timey $10,000 addendum sticker.

For example, a San Francisco Bay Area Ram dealer advertised a new 2022 Ram 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab 4X4 truck today. down $8,479 MSRP:

Shortage among import brands, too much supply among American brands.

The top six brands with the tightest supplies – between 19 days and 30 days – are all Asian import brands.

This ranking goes by “brand”, not by where the vehicles are actually manufactured, which could be in the US, Mexico, Asia, Europe, etc. Many of these vehicles are built in assembly plants in the US and Mexico.

Kia tops the list with 19 days’ supply. Good luck walking into a Kia dealership, picking out a new vehicle, and going home with it. People can order one. American brands starting with Chevrolet at 43.9 days’ supply are below the middle. Brands of Stellantis (red) are overstocked.

Tesla doesn’t have dealers – and therefore doesn’t have inventory at “dealers”. It sells directly to consumers. And it doesn’t disclose its own list. And this US I also do not disclose my sales. So it’s not on the list.

At the bottom of the list with the most supply: Fiat and Alfa Romeo have modest sales in the US and don’t really matter. But Volvo matters — owned by Chinese automaker Geely, some of its models are made in China — and it’s even more stock than the Ram.

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