New car inventory inches up to 1.2 million units

U.S. vehicle inventory has finally begun to climb out of the narrow band it was mired in since the beginning of the year, ticking up to 1.21 million units last month, the highest level since June 2021, according to data compiled by Cox Automotive and the Automotive News Research & Data Center.

The figure represents a recovery of nearly 200,000 vehicles over the month prior, just outside the 1 million-to-1.1 million band where it sat the previous seven months.

Cox said the figure represents a 40-day supply, up 43 percent from a year ago, and three days higher than the previous month, based on its practice of using the selling rate from the most recent 30-day period. Days’ supply has trended higher over the previous year each month since May but remains well below 2020 and 2019 levels. A depressed selling rate, hampered in part by low inventory along with rising prices and rising interest rates, is contributing to the recovery, Cox said.

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