North American Light-Vehicle Production Up 4.4% in May

Car production was slowed by high inventory levels, but growing light truck sales kept production up.

Erin Sunde, Industry Analyst

June 23, 2014

1 Min Read
North American Light-Vehicle Production Up 4.4% in May

North American automakers produced 1,505,277 light vehicles in May, 4.4% above same-month last year.

Light-truck production soared 12.3% to 896,729 units, the highest May output on record.  North American light-truck sales through May were up 9.3% compared with the same period in 2013.

Car inventory ended April at 13.6% above year-ago, resulting in production slowdowns. May builds totaled 608,548, falling 5.5% from last year.

Hyundai’s May production was 16.6% below prior-year, likely due to high inventory of the U.S.-built Elantra and Sonata the end of April.

Nissan posted a 21.9% gain in May, resulting in a best-ever May result of 155,552. This boom in production came even after recording a 43.4% increase in domestically built inventory the month before. Output from Smyrna, TN, shot up 34.2% for May and 41.5% year-to-date.

The Detroit Three built 826,906 LVs in May, according to WardsAuto estimates. Ford and General Motors had small year-over-year increases, but Chrysler was most improved with 13.8% growth.

U.S. May LV production ticked up 1.9% from year-ago to 998,063. A total of 4,823,660 LVs were built through the first five months, up 3.7% from last year.

Canada saw its first monthly year-over-year increase of 2014, up 5.7% to 221,018 units in May. Year-to-date production was down 1.6% to 977,863.

Mexico built 286,196 LVs in the month, an increase of 12.7% from prior-year. This was the highest production record for any month. Output from January through May climbed 7.0% to 1,302,488 units, also a record high for this period. WardsAuto forecasts Mexico production to reach about 3.194 million units in 2014, 9.7% above last year and the first year to surpass 3 million.

North American light-vehicle production through May was 7,104,011 units, up 3.5% from year-ago.

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About the Author(s)

Erin Sunde

Industry Analyst, WardsAuto

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