North American auto makers produced 1,365,740 light vehicles in June, up a fractional 0.2% from the same month last year.

The tally includes 616,007 cars and 749,733 light trucks.

Through the first six months, LV production stood at 8,219,693 units, a 3.7% year-on-year gain.

The WardsAuto/AutomotiveCompass production forecast projects final output for 2013 at 16.0 million light vehicles, 4.2% above 2012’s 15.4 million.

The moderate increases in 2013 contrast with the double-digit year-over-year gains seen in 2012, but most plants now are operating near or above 100% capacity utilization. Although growth is possible through additional shifts and crews, any increases in output likely will remain relatively modest for the next couple of years.

The Detroit Three produced 743,698 LVs last month. WardsAuto estimates General Motors built 277,101 cars and light trucks, down 4.0% from 2012. Ford had a small gain, 1.6%, to 247,949 units. Chrysler produced 218,648 units, up 4.9%.

Chrysler began production of the Jeep Cherokee cross/utility vehicle at its Toledo North, OH, plant, replacing the Liberty CUV that ended production in August 2012.

LV production in the U.S. totaled 896,157 in June, up 2.3% from like-2012. The 6-month total grew 5.9%, reaching 5,538,368.

In Canada, June output totaled 208,432 units, down 5.6% over year-ago. The year-to-date volume of 1,201,136 represented a 6.8% drop.

Mexican plants made 261,151 units last month, down 2.1% from June 2012. First-half 2013 builds climbed 5.2% to 1,407,393.

eberger@wardsauto.com