Large-pickup deliveries rose 28.1% above year-ago in June, driving the segment’s market penetration upward to 11.8%. First-half sales of the big pickups shot up 21.2%, the highest gain of any of the major segments.
In 2016, the number of EV nameplates in production will total 96, an increase of just five from 2013. By comparison, output of hybrid nameplates will jump from 185 to 234 in the 3-year period, according to a WardsAuto/AC forecast.
WardsAuto will begin estimating General Motors’ monthly North American production by plant, platform and vehicle line starting with May’s results, following the auto maker’s decision to discontinue reporting the data.
Ford and Nissan are the two biggest reasons industry capacity utilization is running at 100% or more, but they are getting a lot of help from manufacturers with only one or two facilities, nearly all of them on 3-shift/crew schedules.
Inventory levels usually fall from March to April, but the increase is not a red flag because month-end days’ supply of 64 is slightly below average for this time of year, indicating demand is growing.
Light-vehicle output for 2013 is forecast to increase by 105,000 units, with gains at Honda, Chrysler and Ford overwhelming cuts at General Motors and Volkswagen, while 2014 should see a 200,000-unit hike.
Europe’s biggest market, Germany, reportedly posted a March decline of 17%, worsening its 10.0% drop in the first two months of 2013, while Russia, the region’s second-biggest market, saw its first sales slump in 36 months.
The next two years will be marked by overtime and manufacturers matching capacity to rising demand. But there will be typical plant downtime for inventory control of slow-selling vehicles, as well as production shutdowns for major redesigns.
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