In the North American auto industry’s first official crack at fourth-quarter output scheduling, producers have penciled in plans to build 3,958,400 cars and trucks – a 0.9% decline from the 3,994,237 vehicles built in October-December 2003. Although it is the first time this year that quarterly output has failed to edge past like-2003, production for the year is on track to reach 16,256,200 units, nudging 2004 into the books as the third-best production year in history by some 41,000 ...

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