With Ford yet to be heard from, the North American auto industry’s already robust second-quarter production slate just grew heartier with the addition of 38,300 units, much of it coming this month.
The increase pushes up planned output this quarter to 4,086,900 cars and trucks, a daily average of 65,917 units that is 1% better than the prior Q2 plan.
It also is 2.9% more than the 64,059 units built daily in the just-completed first quarter on estimated volume of 4,035,700 vehicles, a gain of 43,200 from the level slated a month ago.
Much of the increase is due to Volkswagen’s 27% boost at its Puebla, Mexico, plant to 37,500 vehicles in the April-June timeframe after besting its first-quarter plan by 9.9% to 124,100 units.
Added to that is a Q2 gain of 14,300 units, or 17.6%, among the dedicated medium- and heavy-duty truck makers, following an upward revision of 11,800 vehicles in Q1 production.
The Q2 increase comes despite General Motors trimming 11,500 units from its April-June car slate, only partly offset by 6,100 additional truck assemblies.
Chrysler trims Q2 large-car production in Canada and Fiat 500 output in Mexico. Chrysler van production in Canada also falls under the knife. However an increase in truck production in the U.S. and Mexico is enough to offset the car and van losses to make Chrysler’s Q2 changes a wash.
Output at Kia’s West Point, GA, plant also takes a hit starting in June, when it begins a lengthy shutdown to prepare for production of the re-engineered Hyundai Santa Fe cross/utility vehicle. The shutdown will extend into July.
First-half production now stands at 8,122,600 units, a 22% gain on year-ago’s 6,655,300 completions.
The Detroit Three account for 52.4% compared with prior-year’s 59.1%, and the transplants make up 45.3% as against 38.6%. Medium- and heavy-truck makers account for the remaining 2.3%, even with year-ago.