Despite a flurry of adjustments — both up and down — by a number of automakers, industry North American car and truck output plans remain nearly steady through year's end — at least so far (see data p.6). Further weakness in the U.S. market of the type that led DaimlerChrysler Corp. to close several plants last week could prompt further cuts. The effects of that closing aren't included in the revised schedule. That could take some 13,000 vehicles out of October's tally and 19,000 from November.

But for now, the latest round of scheduling meetings left fourth quarter output at 1,290,800 units, down just 1,200 vehicles from a month ago. October output finished at an estimated 1,600,000 cars and trucks, 3,400 units short of plan. And production planners reduced the November schedule by 5,900 units to 1,462,200. But December's slate was boosted by some 8,000 vehicles.

DCC took the biggest hit, down 19,500 units. But much of that results from a 16,500-unit underbuild in October. Another 3,000 units were taken from November and 100 from December. Ford Motor Co. posted an estimated 8,100-unit shortfall in October and took 11,200 vehicles out of November. But it added 5,000 to December. General Motors Corp.'s addition of 12,000 units to the quarter largely results from an expected 8,500-unit overbuild in October.