After a few years of stellar post-recession comeback, the auto industry is showing signs of entering another slump. As of this March, sales of new cars had slowed down so much that new car inventory — the number of new, freshly-built cars that are waiting for a turn on the dealership lot — had reached the highest levels since 2004.
For the purposes of this article, we’re hypothesizing that these cars are built in the U.S. and allocated to U.S. dealerships. Importing and exporting cars adds a lot more complexity to the situation.
If you’re not sure what a “leftover new car” is or how such a thing could exist, we’ll explain it on the next page.