On average, how many unsold vehicles are on the lot at US auto dealerships and what is the distribution? (eg. 20% have 300+, 50% have 100-299, 30% have 0-99)On average, there are approximately 204 unsold vehicles on an automotive dealership lot in the United States at any given time. There is no specific data relating to the distribution of vehicles throughout different dealerships. Below you will find a deep dive of my findings.
methodologyDespite deep dive searching through government databases, market research, press releases and other reputable sources, no exact breakdown of inventory was available. However, we were able to find some information which allowed for a triangulation of an overall average of 190 vehicles. Accordingto the most recent information from Kelley Blue Book, new car dealerships in the United States held enough inventory to meet their sales demand for an average of 71 days in December 2017. The average number of new trucks and cars sold in 2016 was 1,050. There are 365 days in a year. Taking 1,050 cars divided by 365 days results in the average number of sales per day, which is 2.88. Taking the 2.88 sales and multiplying that figure by 71 results in the average inventory, which is 204 cars.
DistributionThere is no specific data relating to the distribution of vehicles throughout different dealerships, but the following data may provide an insight into distribution of unsold cars across the United States. A small sized dealership may sell 10 cars per month, a medium size dealership may sell between 20 and 50 cars per month, while a large dealership may sell over 500 cars per month. According to the data on the top 150 United States car dealerships, in 2016, the largest 3,468 dealerships in the country sold 3,787,177, or 21.6%. of the total sales of vehicles. These 3,468 only make up 19% of the total number of dealerships in the country. Dealerships such as Honda and Ford sell 70,000 and 54,000 cars a year, respectively, across the country. As an interesting finding in lieu of exact data, there was solid statistics on the inventory levels of used car dealers in the US that may be relevant when looking at dealerships of new cars and trucks. According to NIADA, 2016 inventory levels were:1-10 vehicles: 16.4%11-20 vehicles: 16.7%21-30 vehicles: 1.2%31-50 vehicles: 35%51-75 vehicles: 1.1%76-100 vehicles: 19.5%101-200 vehicles: 7.2%200+ vehicles: 2.9%
ConclusionWhile no specific distribution data can be provided in regard to unsold vehicles in the lots of United States car dealerships, it can be stated that the largest dealerships in the country produce 21.6% of all car sales. Regardless of distribution of sales, there are approximately 204 unsold vehicles on an automotive dealership lot in the United States right now.