For the first time since April, Toyota and Honda both increased U.S. inventories, a sign that their quake-related product shortages are easing.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. added 20,300 units between Sept. 1 and Oct. 1, its first post-quake monthly increase.
American Honda Motor Co. added 17,700 units in September. Honda had added a net 16,400 units in August while Toyota's stocks were still declining.
Toyota had a 39-day supply on Oct. 1, up from 34 days on Sept. 1. Honda started the month with a 33-day supply, up one day.
But U.S. inventories for both automakers remain well below March 1 levels -- before lost production from the March 11 earthquake in Japan affected shipments to dealers.
At its worst, Toyota's U.S. inventory plunged 56 percent, to 169,100 on Sept. 1 from 384,200 on March 1. The percentage fall was even greater for Honda, down 67 percent to 85,300 on Aug. 1 from 258,000 on March 1.
For the overall industry, the Oct. 1 U.S. inventory was 2,096,100. That's a 50-day supply, up one day from 49 on Sept. 1. It ties 1998 as the lowest days supply for October in the past two decades, but it's not out of line for this time of year, when stocks traditionally run below the industry's normal 60-day supply.
Among the major players, General Motors had the biggest supply at 67 days, up one day from Sept. 1. Despite the difficulties for Toyota and Honda, the lowest stocks on Oct. 1 were at Hyundai-Kia, which had a 25-day supply.