Light vehicle output in North America seen to top 16 million this year

Article by Anita Panait, on June 12, 2013

Over 16 million light vehicles will be produced in North America in 2013, according to industry forecasters LMC Automotive and IHS Automotive. LMC expects 2013 output to reach 16.0 million units while IHS places the figure at 16.1 million. The forecasters expect the production figure for 2013 to surge significantly from the 15.5 million units built in 2012, mainly thanks to improving economy in the United States.

Jeff Schuster, executive director of automotive forecasting at LMC, remarked that carmakers are moving close to the point “where all factories are hitting full speed, adding that the North American auto industry “could hit a wall if this keeps up." According to Schuster, carmakers are already operating their sites at close to 90 percent of capacity, placing more pressure on them to ensure smooth production launches. LMC expects carmakers in North America to build 3.9 million vehicles in the third quarter of 2013, reflecting a 7-percent increase from the same period in 2012.

LMC also released production forecasts for the third quarter of 2013 for major carmakers in North America. For instance, LMC expects General Motors to increase its output by 4 percent to 794,000 units as it prepares to launch its re-engineered Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups in the fall. The forecaster also expects Ford to increase its output by 8 percent to 717,000 and Chrysler and Fiat by 6 percent to 581,000 units. LMC likewise expects Toyota to build 13-percent more light vehicles in the third quarter of 2013 to 466,000 units.

Honda is also expected to raise its production by 17 percent to 444,000 units. Another Japanese carmaker, Nissan, is forecasted to increase its third-quarter output by 20 percent to 377,000 units. South Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia are expected to boost their production by 8 percent to 202,000 units. On the other hand, Volkswagen Group is expected to cut its North American production by 23 percent to 170,000 units, no thanks to lower demand for its Passat and Jetta models. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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