Despite strikes at two General Motors plants, North American vehicle production last week rose to 335,119. up 1.2 percent over the prior week's assembly figure of 331,293, but 2.6 percent below the year-ago week.
The strike at Chrysler Corp.'s Detroit engine plant ended May 8, and the company's North American vehicle production estimate for last week rose 35.6 percent from the previous week's actual build. Prior to the strike, which began April 4, Chrysler's year-to-date output was 2.9 percent above last year's; through May 17, it was 3.2 percent, or 34,970 units, behind 1996.
At week's end, General Motors' Oklahoma City (Chevrolet Malibu, Oldsmobile Cutlass) and Pontiac East (full-sized pickups) plants were still on strike.
North American truck production estimates last week rose 10.2 percent from the prior week and 2.3 percent over last year.
So far this year, 2,934,176 trucks have been assembled in North America, 4.5 percent above 1996 at this time.
Ford Motor Co. last week began production of the Lincoln Navigator full-sized sport-utility.
The company estimated a build of 515 Navigators last week, and reported more than 9,000 orders when the first model was built Wednesday, May 14, at the Michigan Truck assembly plant.
Some assembly plants in Canada are closed today, May 19, in observance of the Victoria Day holiday.