New vehicle inventory levels have plummeted. The ongoing semiconductor shortage has caused automakers to cut production. Drive around town and you’ll see your local car dealership likely doesn’t have much inventory on their lot, and if they do, it’s likely used vehicles, not new.
More and more dealerships are turning towards “factory orders“. Generally speaking, this is a good thing, as it allows the customer to get exactly what they want. The issue is, as far as we can tell from our community of thousands of savvy shoppers, those people who placed orders are getting the runaround.
“Your car will be built next week and shipped to us soon,” is a common phrase we’re hearing, and then sadly weeks go by without an update. Automakers are simply struggling to do what they’re supposed to do best; make cars.
To put into perspective how dire the current new vehicle inventory situation is, we’re going to compare the current market days supply and inventory levels of a few of the major automakers to their prior levels in 2019. Let’s dive in.
Ford Inventory Levels
Ford has made headlines for many reasons in 2021. Their current inventory levels are one of those reasons. In September of 2019, Ford had 621,000 new vehicles in inventory across the United States. At current sales rates, that represented an 82 day supply of inventory on their dealer lots. Today, as of September 2021, Ford has 210,800 units of inventory in the market.See your local inventory levels
Toyota Inventory Levels
Toyota was initially hailed as one of the automakers who would be able to mitigate the effects of the chip shortage and retain their production capacity. That was until Toyota announced a 40% decrease in production in October as a result of supply-chain issues.
In 2019 Toyota had 444,000 units of inventory in the market, at a 50 days supply. Today, Toyota has 135,200 units of inventory in the market, at an 18 days supply. Staggering.See your local inventory levels
Honda Inventory Levels
Honda’s inventory levels in September of 2019 were healthy, with 351,700 units of inventory in the US market. Today they have less than 100,000 units of inventory for sale in the United States.See your local inventory levels
Hyundai & Kia Inventory Levels
Hyundai and Kia have also struggled during the chip shortage. In 2019 they had 210,400 new vehicles in dealer inventory. Today that number stands at 79,400, with a days supply of inventory of 17.See your local inventory levels
What does low new vehicle inventory mean for me?
If you’re looking to buy a car in 2021 the price you are going to pay will be higher than in prior years. We recommend you do not buy a vehicle right now unless you absolutely need to. If you do need a new set of wheels we encourage you to consider leasing instead of financing. More on that here.
Because of the shortage of new vehicles, used cars have appreciated in value as well. If you are going to buy a used vehicle, be sure to get it pre-purchase inspected.
To learn how YAA members are securing fair deals in these tough market conditions, read some success stories here.