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WARD'S REPORTS 1993 U.S. AUTO PRODUCTION WILL RISE 8.6 PERCENT

 DETROIT, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. car and light-truck production will rise another 8.6 percent in 1993, according to a forecast by Ward's Automotive Reports and DRI/McGraw-Hill. The forecast also projects that U.S. transplant output will grow by a bigger percentage than Big Three production, reversing 1992's trend.
 The expected U.S. output gain, to 10,274,900, is not as strong as the 9.7-percent rise by which 1992's estimated light-vehicle (LV) output (9,457,600) topped 1991's actual 8,616,583 assemblies -- lowest since 1982's 6,795,184. If the forecast for 1993 production is achieved, it will be the first time U.S. output of cars and light trucks has topped 10 million since 1989 (10,606,035).
 (The forecast does not include output of medium- and heavy-duty trucks, which typically total around a quarter-million units annually.)
 The 1992 and 1993 production increases, following four years of decline, are expected to be the largest for at least the next few years. The DRI/Ward's forecast calls for output to rise about 2.5 percent annually during the four following years, reaching 11,366,200 in 1997. If the gradual upward trend is sustained, there will be a 12-year gap between U.S. LV production peaks. U.S. LV output last peaked in 1985 at 11,374,456.
 Light trucks' share of total LV production, which has been rising steadily since the mid-1980s to 40.2 percent in 1992, is expected to jump another notch in 1993. But it's forecast to hold at about the 42-percent level through the balance of the decade, partly due to an increase by mid-decade in Canada truck output for the U.S. market.
 For 1993, the DRI/Ward's forecast has production of cars rising 5.6 percent, to 5,970,100 from an estimated 5,655,100 in 1992. Output of light trucks is expected to reach 4,304,800, a 13.2-percent jump from 1992's estimated 3,802,500.
 U.S. Car and Light-Truck Production
 (Including Annual Forecasts Through 1997)
 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
 Cars 5,439.9 5,655.1 5,970.1 6,143.5 6,235.5 6,482.8 6,631.5
 Light
 Truck 3,176.7 3,802.5 4,304.8 4,388.4 4,587.3 4,608.3 4,734.7
 Total 8,616.6 9,457.6 10,274.9 10,531.9 10,822.8 11,091.1 11,366.2
 (Units in thousands. Light Trucks are Classes 1-3. 1991 actual, 1992 estimated, 1993-97 forecast by DRI/Ward's.)
 Foreign-based automakers' U.S. production is seen gaining the most next year. Transplant LV output is forecast to reach 1,983,200, up 17.4 percent from an estimated 1,689,700 in 1992. After making an estimated 7,767,900 LVs in 1992, the Detroit-based Big Three are expected to build 8,291,700 next year, up 6.7 percent. This year, estimated Big Three output is up 9.9 percent from 1991; transplant production is up 9.1 percent.
 The production forecast is the latest issued by DRI/McGraw Hill, of Lexington, Mass., in partnership with Ward's Communications, the Detroit-based publisher of Ward's Automotive Reports. The two companies collaborate in the development and monthly updating of forecasts of North American automotive production and sales.
 Meantime, U.S. car and truck makers remain closed this week for the Christmas/New Year holidays, reported Ward's. Production is slated to resume Jan. 4 at most assembly plants. Last year, during the week ending Jan. 4, 48,901 vehicles (including medium- and heavy-duty trucks) were produced in the U.S. and Canada.
 NORTH AMERICAN FACTORY PRODUCTION
 This Week Last Week Same Week To Date To Date Percent Change
 Estimated Revised Last Year 1993 1992 1993 vs 1992
 U.S.
 Cars 0 73,621 26,032 0 26,032 --
 Trucks 0 59,701 13,662 0 13,662 --
 TOTAL 0 133,322 39,694 0 39,694 --
 Canada
 Cars 0 17,299 1,514 0 1,514 --
 Trucks 0 9,768 7,693 0 7,693 --
 TOTAL 0 27,067 9,207 0 9,207 --
 U.S./Canada
 Cars 0 90,920 27,546 0 27,546 --
 Trucks 0 69,469 21,355 0 21,355 --
 GRAND
 TOTAL 0 160,389 48,901 0 48,901 --
 -0- 12/30/92
 /CONTACT: Haig Stoddard of Ward's, 313-962-4433, or home, 313-549-9115; or Karen Mason of DRI/McGraw-Hill, 617-860-6724/


CO: ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

SB -- DE008 -- 0650 12/30/92 14:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 30, 1992
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