Auto makers are increasing car production in the second quarter to ratchet up total output to 4,169,000 vehicles in their initial April-June planning, up 2.0% from the 4,087,800 units built in like-2012.
That gain reverses a first-quarter shortfall now estimated at 2.5% compared with year-ago, thanks in part to a 4.2% decline in truck production.
Tilting the year-over-year comparison is the fact first-quarter 2012 had an average of 63 workdays, compared with just 61 this year, meaning total volume fell despite plants building more units daily this year.
Likewise, a portion of the industry’s second-quarter increase results from an additional work day this year.
Assembly plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico are slated to build an average of 66,175 vehicles daily over 63 work days in April-June, compared with year-ago’s 65,932-a-day rate.
Among the Detroit Three, only Ford has set its sights on building more vehicles in the second quarter than it did a year ago, although its scheduled output rate will be slightly less than in January-March.
Chrysler will produce nearly 6.0% fewer vehicles in April-June than in like-2012, despite stepping up its output pace from the first quarter, when it recorded significant inventory-related downtime at its Windsor, ON, Canada, van plant.
Compared with Q1, a slightly slower output pace is evident at General Motors in the second quarter, with planned production expected to fall about 1% below year-ago.
Among all manufacturers, Hyundai shows the biggest year-over-year second-quarter gain, at 15.5%, as it tries to shore up its lagging inventories to keep pace with booming sales.
In a close second, Nissan is planning to build 10.5% more vehicles in April-June than it did in like-2012, thanks to a 15.5% increase in car output that is designed to keep dealers stocked with popular models.
Based on current plans, industry output is expected to reach 8,133,600 units in the year’s first half, just 0.2% less than the 8,153,100 assembled a year earlier. Car production will be up 1.1% and trucks will trail year-ago by 1.3%, if the slate is met.
The Detroit Three combined are scheduled to build 100.2% of their year-earlier volume in January-June, accounting for 52.8% of output for the period, compared with 52.6% in like-2012.
Transplant output is slated at 99.8% of year-ago’s volume, giving them a 45.0% production share, the same as last year.
Output among the dedicated medium- and heavy-duty truck makers is set to fall to 89.5% of like-2012, trimming their share to 2.2% from 2.4%.