New vehicle inventory still low closes July higher than a year ago

Inventory of new vehicles at the end of July was higher than it was a year ago, when the global shortage of computer chips began to hurt production, but supply remains low compared to the pre-pandemic period, according to Cox Automotive’s analysis of available inventory data from vAuto.


Total inventory
to July 25, 2022


Average listing price

Total U.S. supply of available unsold new vehicles stood at 1.09 million units at the end of July, up 2%, or about 20,000 units, from a year earlier. The days supply was 37. At the end of July 2021, when the pace of sales was high, the supply was 1.07 million vehicles for a 29 days supply. As expected, the percentage and gross volume difference of supply between this year turned positive.

“This is the first time in 2022 that the supply of new vehicles is higher compared to the same week last year. But this is not due to a large increase in inventories recently, but rather an indication the severity of the situation last year,” said Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive. “Overall, new-vehicle inventory remains essentially unchanged from what it was, and production is not not yet catch up with demand.”

The available supply at the end of July is slightly lower than the revised available supply at the end of June of 1.12 million. Inventories have hovered in this range since the start of the year, although supply is well below past levels. In 2020, the stock of new vehicles at the end of July was 2.55 million units for a 66-day supply. Meanwhile, in 2019 before the pandemic, it was 3.69 million for an 88-day supply. 2022 has been between 35 and 38 since mid-January.

Inventory supply days by segment

Cox Automotive’s day supply is based on the daily sales rate for the most recent 30-day period, in this case ending July 25 for approximately 890,000 vehicles sold. For the calendar month of July, sales totaled 1.128 million, down 12% from July a year ago. July’s seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) was 13.3 million, down from 14.7 million last year, but up slightly from 13.0 million in June.

Non-luxury inventory totaled 923,929 units entering August with a 38-day supply. The luxury supply stood at 166,845 units for a 37-day supply at the start of August.

Asking prices are climbing again

The average listing price – or asking price – had started to decline slightly at the end of June, but started to climb again throughout July. The average listing price was $46,440 at the end of July, above the revised $46,001 at the end of June. The listing price is 11% higher than in July a year ago, when it was $41,837.

Prices are expected to remain high due to continued strong demand, low inventories and record incentives. Additionally, luxury vehicles account for a higher percentage of new vehicle sales share. In July, the share of luxury was 17.8%. Automakers always prioritize computer chips available on high-margin, high-end models over entry-level vehicles.

The average transaction price (ATP) — the price people paid — set another record high in July, rising to $48,182 after topping $48,000 for the first time in June, according to Kelley Blue Book, a company from Cox Automotive. July ATP was up 0.3%, or $139, from June and 11.9%, or $5,126 from July 2021.

Incentives in July averaged 2.4% of the average transaction price after falling to a record low of 2.3% in June.

According to data from Cox Automotive, the average listing price for luxury vehicles was $64,956 at the end of July. The average non-luxury list price was $43,075 at the end of July.

Asian brands have the lowest supply

Asian non-luxury brands and European luxury brands had the lowest inventory. The non-luxury brands with the lowest inventory were Kia, Toyota, Subaru, Honda and Hyundai. The luxury brands with the lowest inventories were Land Rover, Lexus, Acura, Porsche and BMW.

Once again, the Stellantis brands – Dodge, Ram and Jeep – had the highest inventories. Luxury brands with high inventories were Volvo, Lincoln and Infiniti.

Minivans had the lowest inventory among the segments at the end of July. Next come midsize, subcompact and compact cars as well as hybrids, all of which are in high demand due to high gas prices. Large cars and luxury cars had the highest bid.

Among the top 30 selling models in the 30 days ending July 25, Toyota, Kia and Honda models dominated the bottom of inventory. The lowest were Kia Forte, Sportage and Telluride, followed by Toyota Camry, Honda CR-V and Toyota Corolla. Among the top 30 selling models, domestic trucks and SUVs had the most inventory. The Ram 1500 had a big 88-day supply. Ford Explorer had 60 days supply. The Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150 also had relatively healthy inventory.

In terms of price categories, the lower the price, generally, the lower the supply. Price categories below $40,000 had less than 30 days supply. The $40,000 to $50,000 category had a 37-day supply. Higher price segments had a 45 day supply.

More information is available from Cox Automotive on New Vehicle Inventory, using a 30-day sales methodology to calculate day supply.

Michelle Krebs is an executive analyst at Cox Automotive.