North American manufacturers continue to roll out the trucks this month with an estimated overbuild from plan, while at the same time cooling off somewhat on cars (see data p.7).
Ward's estimates that May's North American vehicle production — including medium- and heavy-duty trucks — will total 1.525 million units, about 99.2% of the 1.537 million scheduled at the beginning of the month. Trucks, however, are estimated at about 816,000 units, or 101% of plan, somewhat offsetting a car build at 97.3% of plan, or 709,500 units.
May's estimated output follows a robust April, when industry assemblies equaled 101.5% of scheduled output, including a 103% overbuild for trucks and a 1,000-unit overflow for cars. April's overbuild likely had some impact on May by accounting for the slight underbuild, although 99% of plan is a solid figure. But the industry appears convinced that the truck sector of the North American market, particularly in the U.S. and Canada, will continue its solid growth.
|Cars||Trucks||Total Vehicles||Net Chg. (Units)|
|Est.||% Sched.||Est.||% Sched.||Est.||% Sched.||Car||Truck|
|TOT. NON-BIG 3||240,400||95.4||102,100||104.7||342,500||97.0||-11,700||4,600|
|Est. is estimated output for the current month by Ward's. |
% Sched. is the percentage the estimate equals of scheduled production for the month. Trucks includes medium- and heavy-duty makes. Manufacturer totals include Mexico output.
Truck output in May equals 53.5% of total vehicle production, and June's schedule (see Ward's Automotive Reports — April 12, '99, p.1) also calls for a larger truck build compared to cars.
Nearly every manufacturer is slating car production below plan this month with the reverse true for trucks. DaimlerChrysler Corp. and New United Motor Mfg. Inc. are both bucking the trend with overbuilds for cars and trucks.Corp., at 97.5% of its total plan, is down for cars and trucks. Motor Co. should meet plan, despite losing five days of Escort production due to a parts shortage. Subaru-Isuzu Automotive Inc. is overbuilding on trucks, but not enough to offset its car shortfall, which is likely related to its changeover earlier this month to production of the new '00 Legacy. Also, Motor Mfg. Corp. U.S.A. continues to tone down its car output, 92.5% of plan, while ramping up trucks, 127.4% of plan, sparked by its new Xterra sport/utility vehicle.
Meantime, a revised Ward's forecast for May 31 inventories of domestically made light vehicles stands at 3.07 million units, 1.1% above like-1998, and equal to an estimated 59 days' supply. Forecasted inventories of domestically made cars alone are revised to 1.42 million (55 days) and light trucks are anticipated at 1.65 million (63 days).