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West Michigan Economy Strong, but Car Dealer Inventory Growing

Carl Court, Getty Images
Carl Court, Getty Images

A good time to get a good deal on a new car?


West Michigan’s economy continues to show strong signs of growth, but that growth is not being matched in new car sales as inventory grows.

Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University, talked about the results of his monthly survey of West Michigan businesses.

West Michigan’s economy is strong, but new car inventories on dealer lots have grown to a 90-day supply, well above the ideal level of 60 days.

Long says, “July and August used to be months for a production hiatus called ‘model changeover’ for the auto industry, but hot-selling brands in today’s market have often limited the production pause to a few days. For auto lines that are not selling well, the hiatus has now been used to balance dealer inventories. In a couple of months, some assembly lines may go down for as much as three weeks, potentially resulting in additional shutdowns in the supply chain here in West Michigan.”

The Institute for Supply Management survey is a monthly survey of business conditions that includes 45 purchasing managers in the greater Grand Rapids area and 25 in Kalamazoo.

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