DETROIT -- Nissan Motor Co. has staked its claim as the most efficient producer of vehicles in North America, while the manufacturing efficiency gap between automakers continues to narrow, according to the annual Harbour Report released Thursday.
Nissan needed just 28.46 labor hours per vehicle across assembly, stamping and powertrain in 2005, besting runner-up Toyota Motor Corp. at 29.40. Honda Motor Co. was next at 32.51 labor hours followed by General Motors at 33.19, the Chrysler group at 33.71 and Ford Motor Co. at 35.82.Harbour Consulting President Ron Harbour said Nissan's efficiency gave the automaker a $300 to $450 per vehicle cost advantage over less productive competitors.
Nissan returned to the top ranking this year after straightening out problems caused by the launch of more than six vehicles in the past two years, Harbour said.
Toyota was the most efficient in 2004, at 27.90 hours.
The Chrysler group posted the greatest improvement in efficiency. It improved productivity 6 percent, surpassing Ford for the first time.