Vehicle makers in North American built an estimated 288,735 vehicles last week. So far this year, 6,762,783 cars and trucks have been assembled in the United States, Canada and Mexico, 2.0 percent, or 134,416 units, above 1996 at this point.
The week's estimate includes Saturday, May 31, production at 10 Big 3 assembly plants. The Saturday list comprised two General Motors, three Ford Motor Co. and five Chrysler Corp. plants. The only car plant was Chrysler's factory in Bramalea, Ontario. The Saturday work made up some of the production lost on the May 26 Memorial Day holiday.
General Motors' Oklahoma City plant (Chevrolet Malibu/Oldsmobile Cutlass) resumed operations Tuesday, May 27, as workers returned to work after a seven-week strike. The Pontiac East truck plant in Pontiac, Mich., is still idle because of a UAW strike that began April 21. Pontiac East makes full-sized Chevrolet and GMC pickups.
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. has begun building the M-class sport-utility in Vance, Ala., at about 50 units a day. The company is stocking inventory for a September introduction.