Ask the Best and Brightest: Whatâs the REAL Auto Inventory Situation? By Robert Farago July 13, 2009 Before the worldwide auto industry meltdown, most analysts reckoned carmakers had burdened themselves with 40 percent production over-capacity. After the overall new car market shrunk by 40 percent, well, you do the math. Only thereâs an anomaly: inventory levels. While weâve got a pretty good idea of how many dayâs supply of vehicles are lingering in dealer lots, what about all those â08s and â09s stored on vast parking lots, on ships, airfields, etc.? [NB: above pic is from Mother Russia] The story got lots of play at the beginning of the cartaclysm, but slipped off the radar since then. Are we to believe that the lots were slowly emptied, as manufacturers shut down their plants? Or are there still hundreds of thousands of cars out there . . . somewhere? If so, weâre still in an inflated market, as those cars have to be sold sometime to someone. And the only way to do that is to lower the price. Anyone have any anecdotal or objective evidence one way or the other?