At least 180,000 vehicles disappear from forecasts

North American automakers will knock between 181,000 and 211,000 vehicles out of their production schedules by year end in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to two new industry forecasts.

In addition, the worst case scenario from Pricewater-houseCoopers AUTOFACTS foresees automakers taking about 387,000 vehicles out of their production schedules.

J.D. Power and Associates, meanwhile, is predicting another 200,000 drop from its forecast for the first six months of 2002.

As a result of the Sept. 11 disaster, J.D. Power now is forecasting production of 3,934,000 cars and light trucks for the four-month period that ends Dec. 31. Before Sept. 11, the company had forecast 4,145,000 units.

PricewaterhouseCoopers AUTOFACTS cut its forecasts of fourth-quarter production by 4.5 percent after the disaster to 3.87 million units. But its worst case scenario sees production for the period falling 9.5 percent to 3.67 million units.

Jeff Schuster, director of J.D. Power’s North American forecasting, said the revision was prompted by new statements from U.S. automakers, as well as readings of consumer attitudes in the aftermath of the terrorist acts.

You can reach Lindsay Chappell at lchappell@crain.com

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