Have you not considered cach for clunkers depleting the supply of used cars, and driving demand for new cars?You're repeating datapoints I've already debunked. The uptrend in car sales has little to do with natural disasters, dude. I've already said you should look at October sales and see how October sales were actually lower because of the storm. No one thinks "hey, a hurricane is coming, this is a great time to buy a car!"
Americans are confident in economic recovery, and as such they are buying a car. I know this doesn't fit your ideal scenario - a poorly performing economy and weak consumer - but reality is that consumer confidence is at a four year high (discussed in another thread) and car sales are booming. Get with the times.
Total inventory is useless. Days inventory is more important. Compare that chart to the change in car sales and you'll see why dealerships have more total inventory - it's because they're selling more per day. Research I have on hand says that there is only 13 days more inventory on the lots today than this time last year for all Big 3 automakers, and 15 days more inventory for all automakers on American lots. Days inventory is a derivative of the sales pace. Given that the trajectory is up, I'm not surprised to see that there is more total inventory, as well as more days of inventory (which is calculated against the last month's sales pace, not future projections.) When sales come in at automakers expectations, there will be no inventory build at all.
There are 73 days of inventory for all cars and light trucks on American lots. That's hardly a lot of supply. Also, seeing as sales are increasing fairly regularly, we should only expect more inventory on the lots ahead of stronger automotive demand.
Your comment reflects inability to engage in critical thinking and honest, real discussion about the state of auto sales.