North American auto manufacturers built 1,482,823 light vehicles in March, resulting in a 7.9% gain from same-month 2013.
The total includes 627,779 cars and 855,044 light trucks. Car production was up 2.4%, marking the first year-over-year increase since September 2013. Light-truck production climbed 12.3%, the 12th consecutive year-over-year gain for that vehicle type.
WardsAuto estimates Detroit Three LV production grew 6.2% from year-ago to 795,555, boosted mainly by General Motors’ 13% growth.
Several automakers recorded best-ever March results. Toyota production totaled 163,611 units, up 9.4% from last year. Output by Kia climbed 11.1% from year-ago to 34,692 units.
Nissan also recorded its highest March production, 159,481 units, resulting in a 29.4% jump from last year. The Smyrna, TN, facility recorded a 41.5% increase, and production from its Aguascalientes, Mexico No. 1, plant rose 38.7%.
Tesla and BMW also had best-ever March output, according to WardsAuto estimates.
The only manufacturers with year-over-year declines last month were Hyundai (-1.5%), Mercedes-Benz (-4.5%) and Volkswagen (-15.9%).
U.S. March LV production increased 8.1% from year-ago to 1,013,169. A total of 2,832,503 LVs were built through the first three months, up 5.1% from last year.
Canada produced 194,325 units in March, down 2.7% from like-2013. Year-to-date production fell 3.1% to 557,979.
Mexico built 275,329 LVs in the month, increasing 15.9% from prior-year. This was the highest production record for March and third-best for any month. Output from January through March climbed 6.2% to 770,492 units.
Through the first three months of this year, North American plants produced 4,160,974 LVs, up 4.1% from year-ago.