Vehicle production last week in the US, Canada and Mexico was expected to hit an estimated 301,784 units, up from the 273,281 cars and trucks built the previous week, according to Ward's Automotive Reports.

Including last week's estimates, calendar year North American output now totals 5,443,336 vehicles, down 2.5% from like-2002's pace.

In the US, automakers were expected to produce 224,685 vehicles last week, up 9.9% from the 204,429 cars and trucks built the previous week. To date, calendar 2003 U.S. vehicle output totals an estimated 4,011,063 units, down 2.0% from the 4,094,038 vehicles built in like-2002.

Last week's Canadian vehicle production was estimated at 50,318, a 6.0% increase from the 47,489 units assembled the previous week. Estimated calendar-2003 Canadian vehicle production now stands at 865,634 units, down 4.8% compared to the 909,154 vehicles produced in like-2002.

Of the cars and trucks slated for production last week in the US, General Motors Corp. accounted for 31.1%; Ford Motor Co., 26.3%; Chrysler of DaimlerChrysler, 12.9%; Honda of America Mfg. Inc., 7.9%; Toyota Motor Mfg. Inc., 6.3%; Nissan Motor Mfg. Corp., 4.1%; New United Motor Mfg. Inc., 3.5%; Subaru Automotive Inc., 1.2%; Mitsubishi Motor Mfg. of America Inc., 1.9%; AutoAlliance International Inc., 0.7%; Mercedes-Benz U.S. of DaimlerChrysler, 0.8%; BMW of North America Inc., 1.5%; and other manufacturers, 1.8%.