U.S. car sales may be starting to look soft, but North American automakers are sticking with the plan when it comes to boosting production.
Automakers will produce nearly 2.9 million light vehicles in North America during the third quarter, up nearly 23 percent from the year-ago period, predicts the consulting firm IHS Automotive.
On an annualized basis, the third quarter's rate would amount to 11.8 million units of North American production -- not exactly boom times but certainly better than last year.
The consulting firm's third-quarter projections haven't changed much since May. But that very lack of drama is what matters. Automakers are not getting panicky over the U.S. market's slow recovery.
Mike Jackson, IHS Automotive's director of North American vehicle forecasts, says his outfit is nudging its 2010 U.S. vehicle sales projection from 11.8 million units down to 11.5 million. But vehicle inventories are "very manageable right now," he adds, "and certainly we expect sales to improve next year, no question."