Tag: supply

By on September 14, 2020

Not that it should be any surprise with pricing creeping up, but U.S. vehicle inventories are some of the lowest we’ve seen in roughly a decade. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get a solid estimate on supplies as many automakers no longer have the balls to conduct monthly reports, at least not any they’re willing to share. The few that still do have been a little light on the lot, however.

Going into fall, we’d expect to see supplies around the 60-day mark with about a quarter of those vehicles representing the upcoming model year. Mainstream brands seem to be running with a lot fewer cars this month. On Monday, Automotive News estimated that September was probably representing the lightest industry-wide supply of vehicles since October of 2011. Meanwhile, Cox Automotive has the industry sitting on 56 days worth of cars — noting that national inventories shrank to 2.26 million vehicles, or about 870,000 fewer from the year before.

(Read More…)

By on August 17, 2020

Car dealerships around the nation are reportedly having trouble restocking inventories following the prolonged production shutdowns enacted in response to the pandemic. Despite supply chain issues subsiding a bit, Cox Automotive reported the industry only has a 62-day supply of vehicles. That’s approximately 2.3 million sparkly new units, and would be more than enough to keep consumers happy if people didn’t care which model they drove home. Demand may still be suppressed, but the selective nature of shoppers is not.

For example, you may be able to find a Nissan Rogue (the brand’s biggest seller) without much hassle. But finding one equipped how you wanted may be outside the realm of possibility in 2020, depending upon where you live and the fickle winds of fate. And you could apply that same logic to any number of brands, as most continue to note that some suppliers and assembly lines occasionally have to shut down to comply with health mandates. (Read More…)

By on July 10, 2020


Fall holiday discounts aside, the height of summer is typically a good time to head out and buy a car. The weather’s good, new models are rolling into dealers, and markdowns are appearing on older stock taking up precious space. Yet 2020 is anything but a normal year.

As the industry struggles to regain the volume it once enjoyed, threadbare inventories continue to plague automakers, though not everyone’s equal in this exercise. (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2020

Mexico is attempting to accelerate parts production to ensure North American automakers have enough components on hand to stay operational. The response to the pandemic saw manufacturing stalled worldwide as governments assessed whether or not we’d soon be living through a plague of biblical proportions. While fate decreed a repeat of the Black Death would not be necessary, untold damage resulted in numerous business sectors.

The automotive industry hardly went unscathed. Lockdowns stopped sales in many markets for months and plunged supply chains into turmoil as OEMs shut down to ensure staff were helping to “flatten the curve.” With the public’s interest shifting rapidly away from coronavirus mandates toward demonstrations about police brutality and racial justice, or simply devolving into riots because people are pretty angry about how poorly 2020 is playing out, suppliers and automakers are gradually moving back to more normal production schedules.

This has been easier said than done. But it is being done, and that’s the important thing.  (Read More…)

By on February 12, 2020

With Europe increasingly fixated on regulating vehicular emissions, German automakers are throwing themselves into electrification like ’90s moms did with Beanie Babies. As with those moms, the investment has yet to pay off. Still, that hasn’t encouraged anyone to change course. Every player understood from the outset that transitioning to EVs was bound to be costly and, with increasingly stringent regulations proposed every month, there aren’t many alternatives.

Volkswagen placed its very existence on electrification after Dieselgate, quickly running into problems with battery suppliers. And while VW claims it’s solved the issue for the next few years, it isn’t out of the woods yet. VW and Daimler have reportedly commissioned a study into sustainable lithium mining in Chile, but it’s already receiving pushback from environmental groups concerned about the delicate nature of the region’s Atacama salt flat — where the metal is found in abundance.  (Read More…)

By on November 13, 2019

The lithium industry — essential for the production of battery electric vehicles — has run into a problem. It’s currently amassing more of the metal than it needs. Despite automakers like Tesla suggesting there will be upcoming global shortages of metals like copper, nickel, and lithium, the only element that battery suppliers appear to be truly desperate for is cobalt, which is largely the fault of where and how it’s mined (the Congo, often by children).

Demand for the brittle, bluish metal skyrocketed this year, but not lithium. The latter metal’s global supply currently exceeds demand by about 5 percent, according to data from Canaccord Genuity.  (Read More…)

By on February 11, 2019

Subaru Legacy 2018 Logo Emblem Grille

Subaru’s sales in the United States effectively tripled in the past decade, making it the most important market for the brand by a wide margin. However, the automaker has had to expend quite a bit of energy in its home country of Japan to address recalls and regulatory scandals over the last few years.

While the duality hasn’t caused issues on a global scale, many observers wonder how long its good fortune will last. In America, Subaru is a feel-good brand that uses love as a core marketing concept to improve sales. In Japan, it has become synonymous with overworking employees lacking compensation, regulatory scandals, sudden work stoppages, and recalls. Many believe it’s only a matter of time before Subaru of America will have to contend with Japan’s issues, and evidence exists that problems are already beginning to surface in the West. (Read More…)

By on February 12, 2018

nissan emblem badge logo

Nissan has long-standing tradition in North America of being a bargain brand. While the automaker fields plenty of affordable options with a base MSRP undercutting that of its rivals, it has also leaned on aggressive incentivizing and heavy fleet sales. This helped Nissan chase volume in the U.S., but CEO Hiroto Saikawa is no longer convinced it’s a winning strategy.

He’s tasking Denis Le Vot, Nissan’s new North American boss, to improve profitability and brand value after the company’s operating profit dipped 50 percent in the region in the last quarter of 2017.

It’s a tall order for Le Vot, who has only had a little over one month to settle into being the regional chairman for the brand, and Saikawa is only giving him another two to figure out how to pull it off. However, he’s hinting at a strategy that eases off dealers, offers fewer market incentives, and ditches a reliance on fleet sales.  (Read More…)

By on November 7, 2017

The deal reached with striking autoworkers in Ingersoll, Ontario, last month prevented the supply of hot-selling Chevrolet Equinox crossovers from reaching critical levels, but we now know just how bare the cupboard was.

After a high of 74 days of supply in June, rising sales meant inventory of the newly redesigned compact crossover shrunk to 53 days’ worth at the beginning of September, shortly before the month-long strike began. It plummeted thereafter. With another month of Equinox sales gains under its belt, GM is busy making up for lost production. (Read More…)

By on August 12, 2017

2017 Hyundai Tucson - Image: HyundaiHyundai’s U.S. sales volume is down 13 percent through the first seven months of 2017, a year-over-year drop valued at 60,203 lost sales. Hyundai has fallen so quickly that its corporate partner, Kia, has managed to outsell Hyundai in America in each of the last three months.

But even with Hyundai sales falling nearly five times faster than the industry at large, and even with the two most popular products in the lineup — Elantra and Sonata — causing a 23-percent downturn in Hyundai passenger car sales, there’s good news to be heard out of Hyundai’s (shrinking) corner of the market.

The third-generation Tucson launched two years ago is a verifiable hit. Sales are perpetually rising. July 2017, in fact, was its best month ever.

But there’s bad news. Hyundai can’t get nearly enough Tucsons shipped across the Pacific from the compact crossover’s Ulsan, South Korea, assembly plant. (Read More…)

By on January 27, 2017


The cornerstone of every healthy relationship is frank and frequent communication. Last year, consumers wanted more sport utility vehicles, but automakers still had too many cars rolling off assembly lines. Caught in the crossfire were forlorn dealerships that were incapable of providing the trucks and crossovers that customers cannot seem to get enough of.

At the 2017 National Automobile Dealers Association Conference & Expo, this issue is apparently weighing so heavily on the minds of America’s automotive purveyors that it wouldn’t be surprising if gray matter began leaking out of their ears and onto the expo floor.  (Read More…)

By on August 23, 2015


Toyota will keep a plant in China closed until at least Aug. 26 as it waits for conditions to improve after an explosion there killed more than 120 people, the Detroit News is reporting.

The Aug. 12 explosion in Tianjin, China injured 67 Toyota employees nearby and damaged 4,700 Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The plant in Tianjin, which produces Crown, Reiz, Corolla and Vios cars, is responsible for roughly half of Toyota’s annual production in China.

“We will only restart operations when we have been able to confirm the safety of our facilities and their surroundings, and when our employees feel that they can once again go to work in a safe environment,” the company said in an email, according to Reuters.

(Read More…)

By on September 5, 2013


Automaker Aug. 2013 Aug. 2012 Pct. chng. 8 month
8 month
Pct. chng.
    BMW division 24,523 16,835 46% 188,997 164,636 15%
    Mini 6,023 5,718 5% 44,329 43,632 2%
    Rolls-Royce 84 79 6% 672 632 6%
BMW Group 30,630 22,632 35% 233,998 208,900 12%
    Chrysler Division 28,678 28,070 2% 212,495 216,616 –2%
    Dodge 52,858 47,348 12% 413,258 344,556 20%
    Dodge/Ram 86,445 73,413 18% 653,985 537,502 22%
    Fiat 4,190 4,150 1% 29,585 28,566 4%
    Jeep 46,239 42,839 8% 317,921 325,945 –3%
    Ram 33,587 26,065 29% 240,727 192,946 25%
Chrysler Group 165,552 148,472 12% 1,213,986 1,108,629 10%
    Maybach 4 –100% 32 –100%
    Mercedes-Benz 26,151 22,689 15% 203,147 182,087 12%
    Smart USA 993 753 32% 6,312 6,281 1%
Daimler AG 27,144 23,446 16% 209,459 188,400 11%
    Ford division 212,212 188,608 13% 1,649,821 1,453,536 14%
    Lincoln 8,192 8,141 1% 53,399 57,078 –6%
Ford Motor Co. 220,404 196,749 12% 1,703,220 1,510,614 13%
    Buick 24,650 18,000 37% 141,880 122,589 16%
    Cadillac 20,255 14,704 38% 119,586 90,933 32%
    Chevrolet 187,740 169,978 10% 1,365,544 1,270,582 8%
    GMC 43,202 37,838 14% 303,254 273,366 11%
General Motors 275,847 240,520 15% 1,930,264 1,757,470 10%
    Acura 17,051 15,646 9% 109,182 101,407 8%
    Honda Division 149,381 115,675 29% 944,267 847,840 11%
Honda (American) 166,432 131,321 27% 1,053,449 949,247 11%
    Hyundai division 66,101 61,099 8% 493,116 479,789 3%
    Kia 52,025 50,028 4% 378,380 386,809 –2%
Hyundai Group 118,126 111,127 6% 871,496 866,598 1%
    Jaguar 1,723 1,029 67% 11,134 8,546 30%
    Land Rover 4,938 3,727 33% 31,972 28,038 14%
Jaguar Land Rover 6,661 4,756 40% 43,106 36,584 18%
Maserati 326 219 49% 1,862 1,715 9%
Mazda 28,106 22,232 26% 198,026 185,346 7%
Mitsubishi 5,281 4,249 24% 40,980 41,316 –1%
    Infiniti 11,884 11,155 7% 71,879 77,151 –7%
    Nissan Division 108,614 87,360 24% 782,369 697,426 12%
Nissan 120,498 98,515 22% 854,248 774,577 10%
Subaru 41,061 28,293 45% 281,652 217,780 29%
Suzuki* 1,968 –100% 5,946 17,228 –66%
    Lexus 29,792 24,237 23% 171,238 150,604 14%
    Scion 7,698 7,722 0% 48,959 49,747 –2%
    Toyota division 194,047 156,561 24% 1,313,525 1,199,163 10%
    Toyota/Scion 201,745 164,283 23% 1,362,484 1,248,910 9%
Toyota 231,537 188,520 23% 1,533,722 1,399,514 10%
    Audi 14,005 11,527 22% 101,346 88,392 15%
    Bentley 198 156 27% 1,565 1,405 11%
    Lamborghini* 46 43 7% 368 344 7%
    Porsche 3,327 3,026 10% 28,456 22,279 28%
    VW division 40,342 41,011 –2% 282,913 286,750 –1%
Volkswagen 57,918 55,763 4% 414,648 399,170 4%
Volvo Cars NA 5,518 6,319 –13% 44,005 46,649 –6%
Other** 253 246 3% 2,024 1,963 3%
TOTAL 1,501,294 1,285,347 17% 10,636,091 9,711,700 10%


Riding on strong pickup truck and sedan sales, Chrysler Group and Ford Motor Co. both posted 12% overall sales increases from last August. It was Chrysler’s 41st straight year to year monthly increase. A number of manufacturers’ sales were constrained by tight inventory of models in high demand.

(Read More…)

By on August 8, 2013

encore buickIMG_0283_r

When the Buick Encore compact crossover was introduced, some questioned if it was the right vehicle for the brand, but apparently GM underestimated initial demand for the Encore.

(Read More…)

By on December 5, 2012

While the GM inventory woes have been a fixture of TTAC for months, excess inventory isn’t the sole domain of GM’s pickups. Chrysler is having its own issues, with the Dodge Dart suffering from a glut of inventory.

(Read More…)

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