Each month, industry journal Automotive News measures the inventory on hand at dealerships expressed in days supply, which means the number of days it would take at current sales rate to move all the cars on the ground. Typically, a 60-day supply of vehicles is considered ideal. But right now, AN reports, there are 1.8-million vehicles in stock, which translates to an 80-day supply, the highest average the industry has seen since 1996.

While certain cars, like the Chevrolet Corvette have a days supply of just 30 units (meaning more likely than not, dealers are not willing to deal and it's likely you'll have to wait for the model you want), the Viper, by contrast, has a whopping 429-day supply.

Also: 2014 Compact SUVs at a glance 

These are the extremes, but the smart shopper looking to make a deal might want to cruise by a Fiat store, where they will likely find an ample supply of 500L models on hand (a 206-day supply exists), or Ford's Transit Connect (186 days) or Dodge, where there's a 157-day supply of Avengers on hand. Other cars in the 140 plus range include the Buick Lacrosse and Verano, Chevy Camaro, Lincoln MKS and Mitsubishi Outlander. The decline in fuel prices is also impacting hybrids-Honda's Insight and CR-Z models have respective supplies of 194 and 176 days.

According to Automotive News, the manufacturers running the tightest inventories include Land Rover (23 days), Subaru (30 days), BMW (36), Audi (41) and Porsche (46).


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