North American auto makers produced 1,438,783 light vehicles in May, including 639,717 cars and 799,066 light trucks, resulting in a 5.9% increase compared with a year ago.

Several manufacturers added models to their production lineups last month. Nissan Note hatchback output launched in Aguascalientes, Mexico.  Honda began production in Lincoln, AL, of Acura MDX cross/utility vehicles previously built at its Alliston 2, ON, Canada, plant. Chrysler temporarily resumed building the Volkswagen Routan minivan in Windsor, ON, Canada, after a 9-month hiatus.

Hyundai produced a record 37,374 vehicles last month, coinciding with the Korean auto maker’s best-ever May, driven by record combined deliveries of the domestically produced Elantra and Sonata.

The Detroit Three manufactured 770,450 LVs in May. Ford output climbed 15.8% year-over-year to 262,909 units. Chrysler builds dipped 1%, to 218,987. WardsAuto estimates General Motors production up 0.7% to 288,554.

Production in the U.S. rose 7.8% in May from year-ago, to 977,594 cars and light trucks. The year-to-date total was 4,645,441, a 6.7% improvement on prior-year.

Canadian output of 207,890 units last month was down 7.6% from prior-year. The 5-month total of 992,676 was 7.0% off the like-2012 pace.

Mexican plants assembled 253,299 LVs, an 11.9% gain from year-ago. Output through May totaled 1,216,418, up 6.7%.

Through the first five months 6,854,535 light vehicles were produced in North America, up 4.5% from year-ago.

eberger@wardsauto.com