Report: Car production to increase by 69% in first-quarter of 2010

After a sore 2009 with production being cut and plants being shuttered, American automakers are getting ready to significantly boost car production as the economy shows some signs of recovery.

According to data from Ward’s AutoInfoBank, the industry plans to produce 2.93 million cars and trucks in North America between Jan. 1 and March 31, an increase of 69% from 1.73 million built in the first 3 months of 2009. Nonetheless, that’s still significantly less than the 3.58 million vehicles produced in the first quarter of 2008.

“Consumers may be scared, but they don”t like that rusting hulk in the driveway,” said Sean McAlinden, chief economist with the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. He forecasts 2010 U.S. auto sales to hit 12.4 million.

According to R.L. Polk & Co., the average age of vehicles in American driveways has increased from 6.7 years in 2001 to 8.1 years in 2008.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Free Press