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Data Point

Brisk February Sales Drew Down New-Vehicle Inventory


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Article Highlights

  1. The weak January sales pace led to an inventory buildup of 80 days’ supply.
  2. Stronger February sales drew down inventory to 76 days’ supply.
  3. Toyota was still short on supply at nearly half the industry average at 34 days’ supply.

March opened with 76 days of supply across the industry, as brisk February sales drew down new-vehicle inventory as measured in days’ supply, according to Cox Automotive’s analysis of vAuto Live Market View data.


Total Inventory
as of March 4, 2024


Days’ Supply


Average Listing Price

The total U.S. supply of available unsold new vehicles opened March at 2.74 million units. That is 942,000 units – or 52% – above a year ago and higher than the previous month’s measure of 2.61 million.

The Cox Automotive days’ supply is based on the daily sales rate for the most recent 30-day period, which ended March 5. Sales during that period ran 12% ahead of a year ago. For the full calendar month of February, sales increase 6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 15.8 million, up from last February’s 14.9 million and up from January’s downwardly revised 14.9 million. February’s SAAR was slightly stronger than the pace in the second half of last year and represented a rebound from weather disruptions in January.

Domestic Automakers Have Highest Inventory Levels

The domestics continued to have the highest inventory. Dodge led the pack of five at the top, followed by Jeep, Chrysler, Ram and Lincoln. Brands with the lowest supply were Asian imports. Toyota had the lowest at 34 days of supply, followed by Honda and Lexus, with Land Rover, Kia and Cadillac rounding out the bottom six.


Of the top-selling 30 models, the ones with the lowest inventory were mostly Toyota and Honda models. The Toyota Grand Highlander remained at the lowest level, while the Ford Maverick and the Chevrolet Trax were the only domestics in the bottom 10.

At the other end of the spectrum, pickup trucks, led by the Ram 1500, and SUVs, led by the Ford Explorer, had the highest inventory among the best-selling products in the U.S.

The average new-vehicle listing price opened March at $47,285, up only 0.6% from a year ago. The average listing price remained relatively flat throughout February but is down 2.8% from the beginning of the year.

The average transaction price (ATP) of a new vehicle last month was $47,244, according to Kelley Blue Book, down 2.2% from February 2023 and down 5.4% from the market peak in December 2022. Still, new-vehicle prices in the U.S. remain elevated, higher by nearly 14% compared to February 2021. Discounts and incentives in February averaged 5.9% of ATP, up from 5.7% in January and significantly higher than the average 3.1% recorded in February one year ago.

Erin Keating
Executive Analyst

Erin Keating is an Executive Analyst and Senior Director of Economic and Industry Insights at Cox Automotive. She has 25 years of experience in marketing and communications, including 10 years with Audi of America, where she also ran Audi Motorsport North America. With a focus on the wider industry, the individual automakers, and consumer shopping and buying behavior for new vehicles, Erin provides analysis and insights leveraging the breadth and depth of data from DRiVEQ, Cox Automotive’s data intelligence engine. Upon joining Cox Automotive, Erin was responsible for Enterprise Data Strategy – Partnerships. Erin is based in Atlanta.

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