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Just a year ago many dealership lots were empty. The aftereffects of the pandemic and supply chain woes resulted in lower production and a dearth of new vehicles for sale. But now, three U.S. brands have over 100 30-day supplies piling up on their respective lots. And one, Chrysler, has a 133-day supply. 

What’s the average-day supply for vehicles?

2023 Buick Envision | GM

The three are Chrysler, Jeep with 122-day supplies, and Buick, with slightly more than a 120-day supply of new Buicks. Jeep is a juggernaut, so it will see buyers return. The good news for Buick, if you can call it that, is that its numbers are significantly down from the over-140-day supply it had in December. Dealers consider 60-day supplies to be average. For comparison, Toyota, Lexus, and Kia have less than 30-day supplies on their lots. 

According to Cox Automotive, larger and more expensive vehicles are spending more time on dealers’ lots. Conversely, less expensive brands are seeing cars move at a fairly quick clip. For those with slower sales, automakers are resorting to an old playbook to help spark sales.

Can Chrysler and Buick survive?

2023 Buick Enclave | GM

Incentives are back. They’re at the highest levels seen in over a year. The average incentive is 3%, down from a high of 10% when the pandemic hit. That opens a window into how much room for negotiation there is in new vehicles. “Expect to see incentives rise some, particularly on segments and brands with the heaviest inventories,” Cox Automotive senior economist Charlie Chesbrough told GM Authority

So that’s the nuts and bolts of the backlog of new cars on these dealerships’ lots. But the underlying question remains, “What is going on with Chrysler, and can Buick survive as it finds fewer new car buyers interested in purchasing their products.” They’re two different questions that question the overall viability of the two brands. 

How many models does Chrysler sell?

Chrysler Pacifica
2022 Chrysler Pacifica minivan | Stellantis

For Chrysler, it is about its continued existence with only two vehicles, soon to be down to one. And while we’re seeing new and future products from sister brands Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Alfa Romeo, it has been crickets at Chrysler. It’s especially puzzling because new products from Peugeot, Citroen, and Maserati can easily be rebadged as Chrysler cars while the company develops something, anything. 

As for Buick, its Envision SUV year-over-year sales from 2021 to 2022 are down almost 50%. Overall, Buick barely sold 100,000 vehicles in 2022. And this is spread over three SUVs, the Envision, Encore GX, and Enclave. 

Does Buick still sell cars?

2023 Buick Envision | GM

In 2020 Buick killed its Regal TourX and Regal Sportback. The expectation was that it would replace those models with other SUVs or even a new sedan, but that has not transpired. So for over two years, it has had a business structure set up for selling five or six different models but only has three. 

But there is a strong reason for Buick to exist, and that is for its China sales. Last year it sold almost 650,000 models. That was down over 20% from 2021 when it sold a whopping 815,900 vehicles. So for as much as Buick should continue to produce vehicles in China, its U.S. sales don’t give it much of a reason to exist here. In a week or two we’ll see how well it is faring for Q1 2023

2022 Chrysler Pacifica minivan | Stellantis

Chrysler Is Doomed

Back to Chrysler, with this year being the last for the 300 sedans, it will sell only the Pacifica minivan in 2024 and 2025. In the last two years, it has seen sales of about 98,500 each year. Can the brand survive two more years with a minivan that’s seven years old?