In their first go at fourth-quarter production planning, North American auto makers are slating a 5.3% year-over-year increase to 3,728,200 car and truck assemblies, up from prior-year’s 3,539,300 completions. That’s enough to bring 2012 to a close at 15,625,500 units, up 16% from 13,471,500 in 2011, a year in which Japanese-make production was hampered by natural disasters in Japan and Thailand. The fourth-quarter gain includes an 11.2% increase in car output compared with ...

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