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Bloated auto inventories

Sarah Gardner Nov 1, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: U.S. carmakers turn in their October sales numbers today and they’re supposed to be higher than a year ago. Still, a lot of 2006 models are gathering dust at dealerships. Sarah Gardner reports.

SARAH GARDNER: Consumers steered clear of trucks and SUV’s this year, worried about high gas prices. Now Detroit is stuck with hundreds of thousands of them.

Some may end up in rental car fleets, but analyst Jesse Toprak at Edmunds.com says automakers will do what it takes to sell the resta€¦.

JESSE TOPRAK: “Some vehicles have $7,000, $8,000 in incentives. In other words, you can go into a dealer lot and look at a $35,000 large SUV and get it for somewhere around $25,000.”

SUVs aren’t dead, but Jack Nerad at Kelley Blue Book says they won’t dominate sales like they have in the past.

JACK NERAD: “Now there are crossover vehicles built on car chasses that are easier to drive, a little better fuel economy and some people are opting for those choices.”

Right now Chrysler is in the biggest fix. As of late September it had over a half million unsold vehicles.

I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

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