The rapidly softening U.S. market means North American vehicle producers will see their capacity utilization slip this year, with 2007 forecast to wind up at a 74.1% rate, down from 76.9% in 2006. Overall installed capacity has remained virtually flat in 2007 compared with year-ago at 20.6 million cars and trucks, including medium- and heavy-duty models. Ward’s calculates capacity using a plant’s standard line rate and looking at 52 full weeks of 2-shift production, while accounting for ...

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