Q2 Output Sees Modest Boost

Q2 Output Sees Modest Boost

Another production boost puts first-half 2014 North American car and truck output on track toward 8,722,500 units, 3.4% more than like-2013’s 8,434,700 completions.

Although increases are not universal, North American second-quarter production plans get another boost in the latest round of corporate production-schedule reviews. A net 15,300 units have been added to an already impressive slate.

As a result, April-June output now is pegged at 4,436,500 units, 2.0% more than the 4,348,700 units built in like-2013.

As has been the case in recent months, rising demand for light trucks has prompted vehicle makers to hike truck output by 58,500 units to 2,598,600 – 6.2% more than were built year-ago.

While the increase is spread over the quarter, including an estimated 18,000-unit overbuild in April, the largest gain, 29,300 units, is set for June, with May checking in 11,200 higher than previously planned. 

Leading the truck charge are Ford and Chrysler, adding 35,900 and 26,500 units, respectively, nearly all of them light-duty models. In contrast, General Motors is pumping an additional 6,800 vehicles into it Q2 plan and Toyota, 1,500.

Those gains will be offset partially by light-truck cutbacks totaling 10,300 units at Nissan and 3,500 elsewhere.

Dedicated medium- and heavy-duty truck makers plan to build 1,700 more vehicles than earlier slated.

On the negative side, auto makers are trimming car production by 43,200 units, to 1,837,900, or 3.4% less than the 1,902,900 built the prior year.

At the forefront is Ford’s 45,800-unit cutback, most of it, an estimated 34,200 units, having taken place in April. May and June are set to lose another 11,600 assemblies.

The remainder of the car output reductions are spread over a number of manufacturers, including 4,000 at Chrysler, 2,900 at GM and 3,000 at Toyota.

Only Nissan (7,000 units), Honda (4,500), and Kia (1,000), are boosting April-June car assemblies.

At least a portion of the second-quarter car-output reduction is linked to a stronger-than-expected first-quarter that ended with a 37,900-unit March overbuild. That largely represented a pull-ahead from April, when car assemblies fell an estimated 33,100 units below plan.

Truck production also posted a March overbuild to the tune of 90,100 vehicles, but strong sales have obviated the need for any Q2 production “payback.”

Thus, production in the first half of the year now is set to reach 8,722,500 units, 3.4% more than the 8,434,700 vehicles turned out in like-2013.

The Detroit Three auto makers account for 53.7% of the January-June tally, compared with prior-year’s 53.1%.

The transplant’s share is off slightly, to 44.3% from 45.0%, and medium- and heavy-truck makers remain steady at 19%.

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