A confluence of factors will cause North American production over the year’s final three quarters to be the lowest for the period in 10 years. Fortunately, a strong showing in the first quarter will keep the calendar year comparison a bit more favorable, with total 2006 output at a 5-year low. Production in the first three months totaled 4.29 million units, compared with 4.09 million in first-quarter 2005, and the highest for the period since 4.8 million in 2000. But the outlook ...

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