General Motors Renaissance Center

Swelling to alarming levels roughly a year ago, General Motors’ vehicle inventory was still hovering around recession-era levels in the middle of 2017. In May, GM had a 100-day supply of light trucks and a 97-day supply of passenger cars. While that’s not a serious problem when factories are running full tilt to satisfy demand, the cooling automotive market brought reason for concern.

General Motors said there was no reason for anyone to become unsettled over the surplus. With several assembly plants undergoing retooling in the fall, executives claimed inventories would fall to normal levels before 2018. As it turned out, those production gaps played out exactly as the automaker hoped. 

Despite having a 104-day surplus at the start of August, Automotive News reports that General Motors started 2018 with just a 63-day supply — its lowest level in two years. That’s an inventory reduction of 41 days over five months, including a 20-day drop in December alone. Considering GM’s overall sales also declined during that timespan, that’s some impressive work from its bean counters.

While the goal was likely achieved by certain line workers getting some unexpected “time off” (or others having a nervous Christmas) in addition to scheduled retooling for new models, its good to see an automaker delivering on a promise. And, to its credit, General Motors has been pretty good about this as of late — which is not something that can be said of every car company.

[Image: General Motors]