North American auto makers produced 1,297,318 light vehicles in January, up 6.6% from year-ago. The total includes 604,739 cars and 692,579 light trucks.

Adding to last month’s total were the production launches of Chrysler’s SRT Viper high-performance sports car at its Conner Ave. plant in Detroit, and Nissan’s NV200 small van in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

The Detroit Three’s monthly total output was 684,430 units, up 7.6% from like-2012. General Motors reclaimed the manufacturing lead after losing it to Ford in December.

Total LV builds at GM plants were 260,042, a 2.6% gain over year-ago. Ford output jumped 27.1% to 251,657. Chrysler production declined 6.4% to 172,731 units.

U.S. LV output totaled 872,426 units in January, up 8.3% from like-2012.

Production in Canada dropped 13.4% from year-ago to 182,355 units, while Mexican plants recorded 242,537 builds for a 20.2% improvement.

eberger@wardsauto.com