Ed Sheehy, the longtime president of Southeast Toyota Distributors, has every right to yell it from the rooftops:
He told you so.
Relatively strong retail sales and continued production hiccups from COVID-19 have pushed new-vehicle inventories nationwide down to just 2.3 million vehicles, according to figures tabulated by Cox Automotive and confirmed by the Automotive News Data Center. It’s the lowest nationwide inventory level since November 2011.
So why are inventories continuing to fall if sales haven’t fully returned and factories have reopened? It turns out that many of those factories aren’t running at a pre-COVID-19 pace all the time.