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JULY VEHICLE PRODUCTION FORECAST
June North American output will be unimpressive but give way to a major rebound in July, according to a recent WardsAuto.com article. June will finish with an estimated production of 1,425,251 cars and trucks, falling 6.3% short of 1,521,101 units last year. That means second-quarter 2007 will wrap up with a total production of 4,162,319 vehicles, which is a decline of 2.6% from last year's 4,274,339. First-half 2007 should finish near 8,099,673 vehicles, down 5.4% from the 8,561,519 built during the second half of 2006.
But production schedules for the third quarter undoubtedly have been pumped up as the showdown between Detroit's automakers and the United Auto Workers union approaches and the potential for a labor strike looms. July traditionally is an uneventful month due to shutdowns and changeovers, but WardsAuto.com forecasts automakers will exceed last July's production by 20.3%. Volume will total 972,517 vehicles, compared with 808,735 a year ago.
General Motors Corp. will beef up its light-truck output 32.7% in July, according to the WardsAuto.com forecast, with across-the-board build increases and some extra boost from production of its latest CUVs, the GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave. The Saturn Aura that launched last summer at lower production rates will anchor a 7.4% increase in passenger-car production. GM's total production in July is expected to reach 243,970 units, 22.4% higher than last year's 199,396.
Ford Motor Co. also is forecast to take a significant 35.2% jump in light-truck production next month, most of that a result of its new Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX CUVs and upcoming Taurus X. Ford's passenger cars will see a slight 2.6% increase, while total builds are estimated to rise 22.1% from last year's 118,401 units to 144,554.
The Chrysler Group is forecast to see similar double-digit production gains, with an 18.8% increase from last July to 153,281 vehicles. Unlike Ford and GM, though, Chrysler's stronger pace will come from the passenger-car side.
WardsAuto.com predicts Toyota Motor Mfg. North America Inc. will see an output tally of 138,196 units in July, up 37.9% from last year's 100,231. A universal upswing in both car and truck production prevails at Toyota's North American plants, but the year-on-year increase is driven by the new Tundra fullsize pickup, which accounts for 60% of the gain.
Other automakers are expected to see similar jumps in July production, collectively realizing a 20.4% gain.
Source: Elnick, Diane. (June 18, 2007). "July Production to Soar Over Year Ago." WardsAuto.com. Retrieved June 20, 2007 from www.wardsauto.com.