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In a reality check, automakers cut third-quarter North America output plans on the heels of Q2 shortfall.

in WardsAuto, by Al Binder, 28-08-2017

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Recognizing that new the light-vehicle sales outlook for the second half of the year may not be as rosy as once thought, automakers took a hard look at short-term output plans and eliminated some 33,400 units from the July-September slate.

Following the industry’s latest round of production revisions, third-quarter output now is scheduled at 4,248,300 cars and trucks, down from 4,281,700 a month ago and 5.1% less than the 4,477,600 vehicles built in like-2016.

Notably, the cutback includes an estimated July shortfall of 14,400 units in addition to the 25,800 assemblies pulled from September, of which 6,800 were added to the August slate.

In addition to the Q3 cutback, second-quarter output finished at 4,553,400 units, or 2.9%, below the April-June 2016 tally thanks to a shortfall of 43,700 vehicles in June’s final count.

Thus, automakers have cut production plans by some 79,400 cars and trucks since June 1.

Not surprisingly, car output absorbed the brunt of the cutbacks, 59,000 units, but 20,400 trucks also were eliminated, a majority of them light-duty models.

Behind the third-quarter output decline, Ford’s revised Q3 slate calls for 652,600 vehicle completions, 28,100, or 4.1%, less than what had been forecast earlier. After 26,000 light-truck assemblies were shifted to August, the automaker’s estimated July output fell 14,900 units, all trucks, below plan. In addition, 13,200 units, virtually all cars, were stripped from the September slate.

FCA also cut a net 14,600 trucks and 4,800 cars from its July-September schedule after accounting for the 19,700 units pulled forward into July. FCA ended Q2 output 6,900 units below plan.

Neither was Honda immune from production cuts, carving 16,900 assemblies from its third-quarter plan including 9,300 cars.

Smaller cuts elsewhere ranged from 300 at Hyundai to 4,200 at Tesla.

On the plus side, five automakers added 21,600 third-quarter assemblies, a majority of them light trucks, while output by the independent truck makers rose by 17,700 units, mostly due to the addition of light-duty contract assemblies at Navistar.

Production for the year stands at 13,414,300 vehicles through September, 2.2% less than the 13,716,000 turned out in like-2016.

Of the total, FCA, Ford and General Motors account for 48.6%, down from prior-year’s 51.0%; transplants, 49.5% as against 47.1% and independents, 1.9% in both years.