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How’s FCA’s inventory?

by David Zatz on

In the past, FCA US (or Chrysler Group) was often overstocked, compared even with other American companies. As Fall approaches, though, the company is only slightly above average in inventory — well below Ford and General Motors.

well-lit LED dealership

Inventory is generally measured in terms of days — combining recent sales per day and the number of cars on lots. By this measure, FCA US had 73 days of inventory on August 1, three more than at the start of July. Ford had a 77 day supply, and GM, which deliberately overproduced (anticipating temporary factory closures), wound up with a stunning 104 day supply in a painful miscalculation of the market.

Imports, as usual, had much smaller inventories — partly because they don’t rely on pickups, which have a bewildering variety of options and sizes. Japanese automakers, for example, had just a 54 day supply.

Within FCA, the Pacifica suddenly started stacking up, with over 29,000 minivans (89 days’ supply) — well over the Town & Country’s 65 days. The Challenger and Charger both had hefty numbers, 75 and 68 days; and the ProMaster vans had 78 and 80 days for large and small, respectively. Ram pickups sat with 98 days’ supply (compared with 83 days of F-series and 113 of Silverado).

At Jeep, the Compass stood out with 113 days of supply and no way to tell how much of that was the old design and how much was the new design. Other Jeeps were generally at healthy levels.

unsold Fiats

Fiat remains a problem; no Fiat had less than a 104-day supply, and that figure was for the new 124. The L stood at 173 days, and the X and 500 at 134. Oof.

One problem for FCA (and the other domestics) is a large number of dealers for their sales; Toyota dealers move an average of 144 vehicles per month, just Toyotas, not including Lexus. Honda dealers, likewise, move 120. At FCA it’s 31 Jeeps, 21 Rams, 18 Dodges, 7 Fiats, and 8 Chryslers per dealer per month (based on July sales). Total it up, leave out Fiat, and you get just 78 vehicles selling per dealer. That means extra inventory from having more dealers — but not necessarily extra sales.

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