On the final production day of 1998, North American car and truck manufacturers inched ahead of 1997. They assembled an estimated 15,808,455 cars and trucks for the year, an increase of 50,043, or 0.32 percent, over 1997.
Going into the final week, 1998 trailed by 55,000. There were three working days this year vs. two last year. The extra day made the difference.
North American car production was down 1.3 percent for the year; truck output was up 2.1 percent.
Four more plants will be closed for modifications at the beginning of 1999. They join Ford Motor Co.'s Wayne, Mich., plant, which halted production Dec. 21.
The plants are: DaimlerChrysler Corp. in Warren, Mich. (Dodge Dakota/Ram pickups); Ford Motor Co. in Wixom, Mich. (Lincoln Town Car/Continental); General Motors in Arlington, Texas (Chevrolet Silverado/Tahoe, GMC Sierra/Yukon, Cadillac Escalade); and GM in Moraine, Ohio (Chevrolet Blazer, GMC Yukon and Oldsmobile Bravada).