Analysts predict that automakers in North America will manufacture more than 16 million light vehicles this year, the highest output in the region since 2002.

According to LMC Automotive and IHS Automotive auto production in North America will surpass 16 million units, compared with 15.5 million units last year, as the economy in the US continues to improve.

“We’re getting close to the point where all factories are hitting full speed,” said Jeff Schuster, LMC’s executive director of automotive forecasting. “We could hit a wall if this keeps up.”

Schuster added that automakers in the US are running their plants at almost 90% of capacity, which means more pressure on car makers to make sure that production launches run smoothly. LMC predicts that production will hit 16 million units and HIS expects 16.1 million units, the highest level since production reached 16.5 million units in 2002.

LMC predicts that GM will increase 4% to 794,000 units as it is launching the GMC Sierra and the Chevrolet Silverado pickups, Ford will go up 8% to 717,000 units also due to strong pickup sales, Chrysler and Fiat will rise production 6% to 581,000 units, thanks to the new Cherokee pickup and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Toyota will build 466,000 vehicles, up 13%, as it is increasing production of the Toyota RAV4 and the Avalon, Honda will increase 17% to 444,000 units, Nissan is seen going up 20% to 377,000 units, thanks to increased demand for the Altima and Versa Note, Hyundai will rise 8% to 202,000 units and VW will fall 23% to 170,000 units, due to low demand for the Passat and Jetta.

Source: Autonews


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