If you’re a car fanatic and participate in social media, you’ve no doubt seen many reports that the stock of new vehicles is increasing and order times are decreasing. Torque News has investigated the facts, and the truth is that the recovery is barely underway – if it has started at all.
We reached out to 11 of the largest auto companies in the country, including those with the highest volume of deliveries, as well as a few brands that are popular in their niche but have lower delivery levels in normal times. What we found was that only two were willing to comment on increased dealer inventory. Several automakers responded and told us that an inventory recovery just wasn’t happening. Torque News has offered the opportunity to comment anonymously. One full-line automaker summed it up succinctly, saying, “We’re not out of the woods yet.” Another said: ‘I’d love to tell you stocks are starting to stabilize but that’s just not true.
Take a closer look at YouTube “news” videos that claim to highlight rising inventory, and you might find that the titles are just teasers designed to lure those hoping for such a reality. . However, when you watch the video, the facts show little sign of inventory stabilization and no significant changes in dealer inventories.
One such example is from the Youtube channel “Dave B sells Chevy”. Dave has about 20,000 subscribers, which we find exceptional for a local car salesman. In his video, Dave B. explains very clearly why percentage increases in stocks don’t make sense right now. Imagine if a dealer normally had 300 new cars in stock before the shortage crisis. Let’s also say that last year at this time, this dealership had 10 new vehicles on their lot, unsold, ready for a passing buyer to buy and take home. Finally, let’s say the dealership now has 25 unsold vehicles ready for the next customer to come through the door. Is it true to say that “stocks have increased by 150%?” Yes and no. Yes, stocks have increased by 150% over the past year. The other side of the coin is the fact that stocks are still only 10% of normal levels.
Tesla’s volume of high-end Model 3 sedans and high-end Model Y crossovers are doing very well in their segments. In fact, it’s easy to call Tesla a leader in these two individual model segments. We like the Tesla inventory example because there are no dealers. You buy your car before it’s built, Tesla builds it and then sends it to the delivery point closest to you. Tesla has no new vehicle inventory to speak of today. At least our search doesn’t find any. However, there is some very good news from Tesla regarding upcoming deliveries.
The first news is that model 3 delivery times dropped anywhere from a few weeks to around 60 days, according to Tesla’s online ordering page. This is a radical change in delivery times. Tesla delivery times were five times longer this time last year. Model Y also shows dramatic improvements in delivery times.
In its latest quarterly report, Tesla also detailed how it will end its practice of shipping all of its cars to customers near the end of each quarter. Instead, deliveries will be spread more evenly over each quarter. In addition, Tesla warns (warns?) investors be prepared for Tesla retail locations to have inventory of new cars and unsold, unallocated crossovers and on their lots beginning next quarter and in the future. Clearly, Tesla sees demand stabilizing and a return to normal on the horizon.
One company that registers its inventory in the United States is Honda. Honda is set to launch two of its three most important models as new generations in 2023. Both the new OK and CR-V seek to strengthen their grip on segments important to the brand. And both will primarily be delivered as electrified (hybrid) models.
The news is that Honda is seeing a strengthening of its inventories starting in the fourth quarter (which is this quarter). Here’s what Honda offered on October 3:
“While the automotive industry seems to be facing one challenge after another with transportation issues and parts shortages, the efforts of our dealers have resulted in high turnover rates that maximize the inventory available for our customers,” said Mamadou Diallo, Vice President of Automotive Sales. for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Now the pipeline is getting stronger with the expectation that the increase in production in the fourth quarter will support important launches of all-new models to come, like the CR-V, CR -V hybrid and the Pilot.”
Another company that responded to our statement request with positive news is Hyundai. Hyundai has crushed it lately with the introduction of new products. His Award-winning Ioniq 5 The battery electric vehicle had a strong launch in the worst of times and continues to enjoy delivery levels on par with its peers.
Here’s what Randy Parker, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, told Torque News:
“We have a strong product line with electric vehicles and a variety of HEVs and PHEVs. Our company has done a great job of keeping the pipeline moving with inventory management from Korea and our factory in Alabama. Through the challenges of battling the pandemic and microchip shortages, Hyundai continues to ensure that we get products to our dealers and take care of our customers. »
Ford Inventory Status
Ford chose not to provide a statement when we asked for one, but we have been in touch with dealerships in the Boston area. It turns out your author tried to buy a near-base hybrid Maverick or a near-base F-150 Lightning to replace an aging utility vehicle in his home fleet. I stayed in touch with two Ford dealerships in two New England states. There are some positive signs, but not for my vehicle choices.
The Boston-area dealer spent some time explaining the inventory situation for the Maverick Hybrid and F-150 Lightning. When I asked in August if I could either come in and buy one or order one, both Ford dealerships told me none were available for sale. No inventory, no orders would be accepted. On the day this article was published (late October), I spoke to the same dealer in the Boston area and got more information. The Maverick hybrid is off the table. No inventory and no orders will be accepted. It’s safe to say that this is not a vehicle that Ford sells today.
The F-150 Lightning Battery Electric Vehicle is a different situation. My budget is limited, so I’m looking for a basic Lightning called the “Pro” from Ford. The dealer told me that “he had never seen a Lightning in person that wasn’t a Lariat or higher.” He also told me that I couldn’t order an F-150 Lightning Pro. Finally, he reminded me that the price had gone from an MSRP of less than $40,000 to almost $50,000 for a single light, even though there was one available.
However, the Ford dealership offered positive developments overall. The lot now has over 20 new unsold and unattributed Fords of other models. These included a Ford F-150 Hybrid with a $60,000 sticker. The salesman told me: “This is the first time in over a year that we have 20 new vehicles in stock.
Summary of inventory images – Fall and early winter 2022
Today, buyers will find that many key models are still not available or have very long delivery times. However, as examples from Tesla, Honda, Ford and Hyundai show, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Could we see a return to the days when stocks of popular models waited to be picked up by walk-in buyers? Unlikely. However, maybe some models will be available for order with reasonable lead time.
Hyundai dealer new car inventory image by John Goreham.
John Goreham it’s been a long time New England Automotive Press Association member and recovery engineer. John’s interest in electric vehicles dates back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an electric vehicle battery as part of a university team. After graduating in mechanical engineering, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotechnology. In addition to Torque News, John’s work has appeared in dozens of US media outlets and provides reviews for numerous vehicle-buying sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCarson Twitterand check his credentials on LinkedIn
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