Auto Service World
News   November 30, 2006   by Auto Service World

Ward’s Indicates Low 2006 Production Numbers

November’s North American production outlook is revised slightly upward, although Ward’s AutoForecasts still calls for a downturn (8.5%) from year-ago, to be followed by an 8.8% decline in December.
Ward’s AutoForecasts calls for overall production for 2006 to end at a 10- year low.
November’s revised output forecast calls for an additional 23,000 units from last month’s outlook to 1.247 million.
Most of the add-on is spread out among several auto makers.
December production should reach 1.063 million vehicles, compared with year-ago’s 1.166 million.
In the U.S., alone, production is forecast to decline 8.1% and 9.4%, respectively, in November and December.
November’s seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of production now is forecast at 10.8 million units, up from October’s 10.5 million but well below year-ago’s 11.7 million.
The December SAAR equates to 11.0 million, compared with like-2005’s 11.2 million.
North America will end 2006 at 15.78 million units, 3.3% below 2005’s 16.32 million and the lowest output since 15.45 million in 1996.
By country, the U.S. will produce 11.20 million vehicles in 2006, 6.2% below 2005 and a 13-year low. Canada’s output is forecast to slip 4.7% from year-ago to 2.56 million, a sharp contrast from the peak 3.06 million in 1999.
Mexico’s plants will buck the trend with a forecast 19.6% increase over last year, topping 2 million for the first time.
Mexico’s output is expected to total 2.01 million units, compared with year-ago’s 1.68 million, besting the previous high of 1.92 million in 2000.
New products from the ’06 model year have helped the Mexican surge.
Canada’s results were hindered by a decline in demand for minivans offered by Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG, both of which build the vehicles at plants in Ontario.
A drop in production of large pickups at General Motors Corp. also contributed to the decline.
U.S. output in the year has been hurt by declines nearly across the board.
North American production is expected to rise slightly in 2007 in Canada and Mexico and stay relatively flat in the U.S.
Ward’s AutoForecasts details forecast North American production by manufacturer, plant, platform and vehicle line.