The official look at the auto industry’s fourth-quarter production plan has North American plants scheduled to build 3,719,600 cars and trucks, 8.2% less than in like-2005. Barring changes, the industry will end 2006 with 15,939,300 vehicles assembled – 377,400 units, or 2.3%, less than the 16,316,700 vehicles produced the previous year. The fourth-quarter dip was expected, as major producers brace for a potentially slowing U.S. economy and continue to wrestle with mounting inventories. ...

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