With truck sales booming, it’s not surprising automakers are significantly boosting production of those vehicles in August and September, adding a net 53,800 units to the industry’s third-quarter slate, even as car assemblies are falling by 33,100 units.
North American assembly plants now are set to build 4,545,200 vehicles in the third quarter, up 20,700 units from the 4,524,500 planned a month ago and 6.1% more than the 4,282,300 cars and trucks built in like-2014.
Thus, the third-quarter outlook now is nearly the same as it was in early June, when automakers set plans for building 4,574,800, a July-September record.
A large part of the current Q3 boost comes from Ford.
The automaker’s actual Q3 plan rolls in at some 54,900-units higher than had been estimated earlier, with trucks accounting for 93% of the increase.
The industry’s Q3 gain would have been higher except for some longer-than -expected July plant shutdowns that resulted in an estimated shortfall for the month of 29,400 units.
However, that shortfall will be more than offset by a 36.900-unit increase in August, alone, with a 13,200-unit gain set for September.
Cars accounted for the bulk, 25,400 units, of the July cutback, following a 34,200-unit shortfall in final June figures. And, although 8,200 cars have been added to August’s output slate, some 15,900 have been eliminated from the September plan.
Light-truck demand held the estimated July truck output loss to just 4,000 units following a June overbuild of 45,800.
An additional 28,700 trucks have been added to output plans in August, followed by 29,100 in September.
Production for the year through September now stands at 13,582,300 cars and trucks, 3.8% more than the 13,087,900 vehicles built a year earlier.
FCA, Ford and General Motors now have a combined 7,015,800 units scheduled for Q3 completion, 1.4% more than the 6,917,600 vehicles built in January-September last year. That nets the trio a 9-month production share of 51.7%, down from 52.9% in 2014.
Transplant automaker plans call for building 6,239,500 units in the period, 6.1% more than in like-2014, increasing their share to 45.9% from 44.9%.
Output of 327,000 vehicles by dedicated medium- and heavy-duty truck makers is 12.1% higher than the 291,600 units built a year earlier, giving them a 2.4% share as against 2.2%