Analysts predict that automakers will manufacture more than 16 million light vehicles this year in North America, the highest level since 2002.
IHS Automotive and LMC Automotive forecast that production will increase from the 15.5 million units manufactured last year as 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 are running their plants at almost 90% of their capacity, which means more pressure on automakers to ensure smooth production launches. LMC predicts that this year production will hit 16 million vehicles and HIS forecasts that production will reach 16.1 million units.
According to LMC production in North America will hit 3.9 million vehicles in the third quarter, an increase of 7% from the same period last year. LMC says that during Q3 GM will increase production 4% to 794,000 vehicles, as the automaker prepares to launch this autumn the new GMC Sierra and the Chevrolet Silverado pickups.
Ford will boost production 8% to 717,000 units relying on strong demand for pickups, Chrysler and Fiat will raise output 6% to 581,000 units, as Chrysler increases production for the new Cherokee pickup and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Toyota will build 466,000 units, up 13%, as its ramps up production for the RAV4 and Avalon. Nissan will rise 17% to 444,000 units, on the redesigned Accord, and Nissan’s production will go up 20% to 377,000 units thanks to the Versa Note and the Altima.