Light vehicle production on rise in North America
Production of light vehicles is rising across North America, but Canada’s portion of the continental output total shrank during the first six months of 2012 due to the quicker pace of U.S. assembly growth.
Canada’s light vehicle production output rose 18.9 per cent over the first half of 2012 relative to 2011 (1.288 million units 2012 year-to-date versus 1.083 million units 2011 year-to-date). According to figures from Dennis DesRosiers, within Canada, light vehicle assembly increased by double digits at Chrysler (21.1 YTD), Honda (96.9 per cent YTD) and Toyota (45.3 per cent YTD).
General Motors’ growth (2.1 per cent YTD) underperformed the market while the closure of Ford’s St. Thomas, Ontario plant caused a significant production decline (down 27.7 per cent YTD) at that manufacturer.
With just 128,858 units built thus far in 2012, Ford’s production-to-sales ratio did not meet the 1:1 annual formula established under the now-defunct Auto Pact.
While the picture was largely positive in Canada, it still lagged behind the U.S. as light vehicle production ramped up more briskly (25.9 per cent YTD) with only Mitsubishi (down 40.5per cent YTD) showing a decline relative to the previous year.
The U.S. assembly sector received a much-needed boost from Japanese manufacturers recovering from supply and product-related difficulties; both Honda 70.4 per cent YTD) and Toyota (84.1 per cent YTD) achieved impressive gains in both light truck and passenger car output volumes.