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April U.S. auto sales fall on shortages

“Supply shortages continued to severely constrain SAAR in April,” said Jesse Toprak, chief analyst at Autonomy, “and we don’t anticipate any major relief until the fourth quarter of this year.”

That was certainly the story at Honda. The brand began April with about 18,000 vehicles on dealership lots and entered May with only 12,235, “which means there were only 11 Hondas on the ground at the average store and a three-day supply,” said Mike Kistemaker, assistant vice president of sales for the Honda brand.

The scarcest nameplates were the Civic and CR-V, which “finished with a one-day supply and turn rates well over 90 percent,” Kistemaker said. “I have never seen a one-day supply of our product.”

For Toyota North America, gross inventory numbers actually expanded in April by almost 11 percent to more than 137,000 vehicles, but its long logistics tail left the larger Japanese automaker starting May with just 13,831 vehicles spread across its 1,500 Toyota and Lexus dealerships in the U.S.

Kia also reported ongoing inventory woes. “We continue to have challenges with production and distribution of our vehicles,” said Eric Watson, head of U.S. sales for Kia. “Our dealer inventories continue to be at historic lows, somewhere between seven and nine days’ supply of vehicles on the ground.”


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