Eight car manufacturers will likely set annual company production records in North America, according to LMC Automotive. These carmakers are: Toyota Motor Corp., BMW AG, Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Volkswagen AG, Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., Daimler AG and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (Subaru). Assuming that LMC's production forecasts for 2012 are accurate, the figures reflect the determination of foreign carmakers to cash in on the growth in the region as well as to avoid currency fluctuations that may eat up their profits. LMC’s projections also insinuate that the North American market is shaping to look more like its European counterpart, with eight or 10 competitors wanting to have a piece.
LMC Senior Analyst Joe Langley notes that the automotive industry in North America may produce around 15.9 million vehicles this year, an increase of 14 percent over 2011. This year’s forecasted industry figure, however, will fall significantly short of surpassing the North American record of 17.2 million light vehicles set in 2000. Langley added that the North American automotive industry is using more and more of its production capacity, a sign of profitability. According to Langley, North American manufacturing plants will reach utilise up to 85 percent of their straight-time capacity this year, up from just 75 percent in 2011. He remarked that the auto industry seems to be an unusual bright spot for the economy, adding that it is still healthy.
Carmakers in the US will ride on steady sales growth for the rest of 2012. They are expected to increase North American light-vehicle production by 2 percent year-on-year to 3.5 million vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2012, LMC said. LMC projects Hyundai-Kia and Volkswagen to become the big gainers in the quarter, with their production output increasing by 26 percent and 25 percent respectively.