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Carmakers boost inventory to match growing sales

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Carmakers boost inventory to match growing sales

Jesse Snyder

Automotive News -- December 13, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

Automakers boosted their vehicle stocks this month in anticipation of growing sales.

Manufacturers and dealers had 2.4 million unsold vehicles Dec. 1, about 100,000 more than on Nov. 1. It was the highest number in 20 months and 413,000 more than a year earlier.

The Dec. 1 total is a 67-day supply based on the November sales rate, up from 66 a month earlier. The 2000-09 average for Dec. 1 was 77 days.

The seasonally adjusted annual sales rates rose to 12.2 million in both October and November, the best two months since the cash-for-clunkers spike of 14.1 million in August 2009.

General Motors Co. raised its inventory to 535,500 vehicles on Dec. 1, up 21,000 from Nov. 1. "We don't want to be caught short," said Jim Bunnell, general manager of dealer network and sales support.

On Dec. 1, Bunnell said, GM had a 95-day supply based on the November selling rate. But using seasonally adjusted calculations that recognize November as a typically slow sales month, GM had a 76-day supply. That was unchanged from Nov. 1 levels and below the 10-year industry average for Dec. 1.

Other major manufacturers also kept stocks close to November levels.

Both Chrysler Group and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. increased supplies by five days -- Chrysler to a 79-day supply and Toyota to 64. American Honda Motor Co. was up one day to a 70-day supply.

Ford Motor Co. stocks fell six days to a 68-day supply. Nissan North America reduced its supply to 62 days, down four. Hyundai-Kia Automotive had the tightest supply at 43 days, up two from Nov. 1.


U.S. industrywide days supply of light vehicles

Dec. 1, 2010 67

Nov. 1, 2010 66

Dec. 1, 2009 62

Source: Automotive News Data Center

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101213/OEM01/312139967/1424#ixzz1808AVMhG

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