New-vehicle inventory reached its highest level in two years in March, though it remained historically low, Cox Automotive analysis of vAuto Available Inventory data.
U.S. supply of unsold vehicles ended the month at 1.89 million, Cox said, the greatest number since April 2021 and up 70% from a year earlier.
Limited inventory has been a major factor in ballooning model prices and consumer waiting times for deliveries as pandemic-era supply constraints hampered production.
Days’ supply was 56 for the month, up 58% year-over-year. Cox said that a 60-day supply was typical prepandemic.
Sales of new models rose 9% year-over-year in March, Cox said, or a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14.8 million, up from 13.6 million a year earlier.
“During March, we saw sales surpass the 1-million mark for a 30-day period for the first time since early September 2021,” said Cox Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough in a statement. “Higher sales have been boosted, in part, by improving inventory, which has been running at around 1.8 million or so for the past several weeks.”
Inventory, while greatly improved, was still well off prepandemic days. In March 2019, a year before the pandemic took hold, it stood at 3.87 million vehicles, or a 94 days’ supply, Cox said.