Car dealer lots could stay emptier long term

When General Motors launched its “employee discount for everyone” sale in the spring of 2005, its U.S. dealerships had nearly 1.2 million vehicles crammed onto their lots.

This winter, the automaker has only about one-third that much inventory. Many pickups and SUVs have buyers within days of arrival, or even before they come off the delivery truck.

It’s no coincidence that GM expects to earn about the same amount this year — at least $10 billion, it projected this month — as it lost in 2005. Executives at GM and other automakers, after pandemic-induced factory disruptions showed what tight supplies

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