Vehicle production this week in the U.S., Canada and Mexico is expected to hit an estimated 324,241 units, up from the 284,735 cars and trucks built last week, according to Ward's Automotive Reports.

Including this week's estimates, calendar year North American output now totals 1,666,671 vehicles, down 22.1 percent from like-2000's pace.

In the U.S., automakers are expected to produce 231,069 vehicles this week, up 17.3 percent from the 196,978 cars and trucks built last week. To date, calendar 2001 U.S. vehicle output totals an estimated 1,168,278 units, down 24.8 percent from the 1,553,351 vehicles built in like-2000.

This week's Canadian vehicle production is estimated at 55,634, a 6.8 percent increase from the 52,076 units assembled last week. Estimated calendar-2001 Canadian vehicle production now stands at 298,145 units, down 23.2 percent compared to the 388,269 vehicles produced in like-2000.

Of the cars and trucks slated for production this week in the U.S., General Motors Corp. accounted for 32.3 percent; Ford Motor Co., 29.3 percent; Chrysler of DaimlerChrysler, 14.1 percent; Honda of America Mfg. Inc., 6.1 percent; Toyota Motor Mfg. Inc., 5.7 percent; Nissan Motor Mfg. Corp., 2.5 percent; New United Motor Mfg. Inc., 3.1 percent; Subaru-Isuzu Automotive Inc., 1.0 percent; Mitsubishi Motor Mfg. America Inc., 1.8 percent; AutoAlliance International Inc., 0.9 percent; Mercedes-Benz U.S. of DaimlerChrysler, 0.7 percent; BMW of North America Inc., 1.1 percent; and other manufacturers, 1.4 percent.