U.S. inventories of new pickup trucks, large and small, have dropped to extreme lows due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Cox Automotive analysis of vAuto Available Inventory data.
Low inventories are creating pressure for manufacturers to get products to dealerships, and with fleet sales being lower, this has helped the retail side of the business, according to Cox Automotive. However, as fleet sales return to pre-pandemic norms there will be huge pressure on manufacturers to satisfy both sides of the industry.
Full-size pickups trucks had only a 69 days’ supply as of July 6, 2020, according to Cox Automotive data. Mid-size trucks were fewer at 45 days’ supply. Typically, automakers prefer to have a higher days’ supply of trucks than cars or SUVs because trucks come in so many variations. A days’ supply of 80 to 90 is considered healthy.
“Buyers were scooping up pickups when the business shifted to zero-percent financing deals as the pandemic started and, even though plants are now up and running, automakers are having a tough time catching up,” said Charlie Chesbrough, Cox Automotive senior economist.
For Toyota, the full-size Tundra is down to a 26 days’ supply. Meanwhile, the Tacoma has only a 19 days’ supply. Both trucks are built at Toyota’s plant in San Antonio, Texas, a state recently hit hard by the coronavirus. Toyota announced a major investment in the plant and will move all Tacoma production to Mexico in 2021 to make room for the Sequoia SUV at the Texas plant.
Meanwhile for General Motors, both the full-size Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are down to 56 days’ supply. The midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon have even less inventory, with days’ supply of 46 on the Chevy and 53 on the GMC.
The situation could worsen as General Motors temporarily halted the third shift at its Wentzville, Mo., plant, which makes the popular Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, due impacts from COVID-19, Cox said.
Meanwhile, Ford and Ram are reported to have higher inventories.