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Topic: vehicle availability

CarGurus Vehicle Availability Index & Insights – December 2021

Posted by Kevin Roberts on January 7, 2022

Of course a year of surprises would end with even more. Sales for the full year came in at the lower end of our estimated range with an annual total of 14.9m. A glass-half-full view would say that’s a further recovery from last year’s level of 14.5m and still, a lot of metal moved. The glass half empty would look at the lost sales due to missing inventory and remain wistful for annual sales that likely would have surpassed 17m.

Where things get really surprising is that new inventory actually increased in December to a 5-month high, with the CarGurus New Vehicle Availability Index increasing by 17.9% in December. So how did sales slightly underperform while inventory increased? We’re likely starting to see a situation where the mix of inventory is becoming as important as just having a vehicle— both for vehicle body type and price (more on that in a bit). Not to be forgotten, the used index also increased 9.8%, and since used sales have seen a full recovery, we’re likely seeing more of a normal seasonal decline, which is driving the inventory increase we see in December. While monthly inventory gains are great, new inventory is still down 68.7% compared to last year, and used inventory is in a significantly better position with index levels down only 6.7% from last year.

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Topics: inventory, new vehicles, used vehicles, vehicle availability