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Chrysler (excluding former parent Mercedes) has 465,000 vehicles, or an 81-day supply. That is better than the 560,000 vehicles and 93 days' supply it had a year ago. It is worth noting that Chrysler has mislead people about inventories before by hiding unsold vehicles around Detroit, so I treat the latest figures with a bit of skepticism.

Inventory problems are an old story at Chrysler. A few years ago, though the company was bringing out a new line of minivans in the fall, they over-produced the old models in the spring. When the new ones came out later in the year, the dealers were busy selling the old ones, which caused a slump.

Headquarters in Germany fired the American president and German officers took over the company. Chrysler has a new-generation minivan coming out this fall, but it appears that it has whittled down its inventories to manageable levels. A year ago, Chrysler said it had 79,000 minivans in stock; this year it reported 35,000. Chrysler does not want to make that mistake again.

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