Car Dealerships Have Lowest Inventory Levels In 30 Years

Posted: September 11, 2009

Car dealers haven't had this few cars to sell since 1975.

The Detroit Free Press reports, "After struggling with historically low auto sales for much of the past year, automakers are confronting a more-welcome problem: some of the lowest inventory levels in about three decades."

Ward's Auto reports that August "ended with 1,406,717 light vehicles in stock, the lowest volume for any month since at least January 1975."

The news is great for the auto industry - factories that had shut down for extended periods over the summer are now running overtime building new cars to refill lots depleted by last month's Cash for Clunkers sales bonanza. But, the Free Press reports, "incentives are declining and some cars are hard to find," making things tougher on car shoppers.

Kicking Tires adds, "Despite low supply, demand is expected to also shrink, following the end of the federal Cash for Clunkers program and because September is normally a lower sales month than August in a typical year."

That provides some hope for shoppers - yes, your local dealership may have thin inventory at the moment, but it's also probably desperate for customers and willing to work hard to provide you with the car you are looking for. Dealers can order cars directly from the factory, or horse-trade with other dealers to acquire the vehicle you may need - so don't give up on shopping in September. Just do your homework -- check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars as well as this month's best car deals, including aggressive pricing on some of the vehicles still plentiful on dealership lots.

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