In their latest production-planning sessions, auto makers have set third-quarter North American output at 3,880,000 units, virtually even with year-ago’s 3,870,500 completions and fourth-best for the period behind 2002’s 3,948,916 assemblies. The July-September record stands at the 4,048,235 units built in 1999. The third quarter is usually the industry’s weakest quarter, with summer vacation and model changeover shutdowns, and this year is no exception. It trails a third-best ...

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