North American automakers built 1,501,214 light vehicles in August, 4.3% above same-month 2014 and a 10-year high for the month.
Production is expected to stay strong as August’s U.S. sales surge reduced light-vehicle inventory from the previous month’s level when it was expected to remain flat.
Car output slipped 1.0% from last year to 600,169 units. Reductions in midsize and luxury cars pushed the vehicle type into negative territory.
Light-truck builds hit a best-ever August result of 901,045. The 8.2% rise came as all segments posted gains.
Ford’s LV production rose 14.6% in the region. A 29.9% boost from U.S. plants was countered by a 19.6% drop in Canada and a31.1% decline in Mexico.
The rest of the top three automakers saw more modest improvements in August North American output. General Motors rose 5.5%, and FCA was up 4.0%.
Subaru built 29,007 vehicles, a record high for August and second-best outcome of any month. Honda also hit a best-ever August total with 163,478 units.
Increased output by FCA and GM brought production in Canada to its first bright spot after six consecutive months of year-over-year losses. Total builds were up 8.4% to 202,840 vehicles, while output in the 8-month period was 5.7% below like-2014.
Mexican plants increased production 7.2% from year-ago, following a small dip of 0.8% in July. The 288,551 vehicles manufactured was an all-time high for the month.
U.S. LV output in August surpassed one million for the first time in nine years. At 1,009,823 units, the result was 2.8% better than same-month 2014.
Year-to-date, the North American total sat at 11,572,884, up 2.8% from like-2014.
Following two quarterly output records, North American automakers may ease production in October-December, but the pace still will be strong enough for full-year 2015 to surpass the record 17,162,649 set in 2000.