North American light-vehicle production reached 1,231,471 units in July, 20.3% higher than last year, resulting in a record high for that month.
U.S. light-vehicle inventory hit a 10-year high in July, as automakers prepared for lost output in the coming months from retooling shutdowns for new products.
The Detroit Three posted 22.3% growth in monthly LV output, totaling 671,549, according to WardsAuto estimates. Chrysler’s builds soared 45.4% from last year to 219,604, a July record for the automaker. Ford and General Motors also posted significant gains, up 14.3% and 12.9%, respectively.
Nissan posted a 12th consecutive year-over-year gain and reached a best-ever July production result with 110,949 units. Year-to-date, Nissan was the most improved automaker from 2013, up 21.4%.
Subaru built 14,489 LVs, 13.9% higher than last year. Honda showed a 1.8% increase to 130,003. Hyundai produced 32,384 cars, 9.6% above year-ago. Although these automakers had record July output, their 7-month totals were below that of last year.
Other LV manufacturers with record-high July results were Toyota, Kia, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Car production rose 14.0% to 501,466 units. Year-to-date, car output was down 2.1%
Light-truck production was up 25.0% from last year, the 16th year-on-year gain in a row. The 730,005 total in July was the highest outcome for the month. Production of pickups shot up 39.5%, and vans spiked 77.6%.
U.S. July LV production increased 28.4% from year-ago to 832,989. A total of 6,630,703 LVs were built through the first seven months, up 6.9% from last year.
Mexico built 257,355 LVs in the month, increasing 8.0% from prior-year. Output from January through July climbed 7.3% to 1,843,592 units.
Canada produced 141,127 units in July, 3.1% above like-2013, but not a high point for the country. Year-to-date production was down 1.0% to 1,326,623.
Through the first seven months of this year, North American plants produced 9,800,918 LVs, up 5.8% from year-ago. WardsAuto expects production for full-2014 to be about 4.3% above 2013.