The American automotive industry was battered by the COVID-19 pandemic in the first three quarters of 2020. People could not visit dealerships. Vehicles languished on dealer lots. That started to change late in the year. By the end of 2020, sales began to explode. This continued into 2021, and some models are so scarce people have to wait for more inventory to buy them. While some cars turn over quickly, others take far longer to sell. Currently, the slowest-selling car is the Ford Fusion.
The supply situation has been made worse by a shortage of chips used for car electrical systems. This could last for several months. Manufacturers had hoped for record earnings in 2021. Those are threatened by this low chip availability. On the other side of the ledger, car prices, both new and used, have risen, because of light inventories.
iSeeCars is a car search engine. In May, it looked at the sales of 1.3 million new and used cars. The average number of days a car was in a dealer’s inventory after delivery from the factory was 47.1 days last month. However, some cars are in inventory for a much shorter time. The fastest-selling car is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, which takes 9.4 days to sell. The German luxury SUV edged out April’s fastest-selling car, the Chevrolet Corvette, by just a fraction of a day.
Other cars in inventory for short times are the SUVs and crossovers that have become in high demand by Americans for over a decade. These include the Toyota RAV4 Prime and Kia Telluride.
On the other end of the spectrum, some vehicles average months on the dealers’ lots before being sold. These vehicles include many smaller cars like sedans, as American tastes have shifted to larger SUVs and crossovers. Many of the slower-selling cars are also being discontinued. The Ford Fusion takes 214 days to sell.
The Fusion is among the models Ford discontinued as it exited the sedan market in favor of a line-up of SUVs, crossovers, and pickups. Ford has only 2020 versions of the car. There is not one for 2021. The Fusion represents the kind of vehicle that has fallen out of favor. Although well regarded by researchers and reviewers of cars, it is small and gets good gas mileage. The base Fusion carries a $23,180 price tag.