Vehicle production this week in the U.S., Canada and Mexico is expected to hit an estimated 244,207 units, up from the 30,518 cars and trucks built during last week's holiday break, according to Ward's Automotive Reports.

Including this week's estimates, calendar year North American output now totals 244,207 vehicles, down 24.4 percent from like-2000's pace.

In the U.S., automakers are expected to produce 172,988 vehicles this week, up substantially from the 4,138 cars and trucks built last week. To date, calendar 2001 U.S. vehicle output totals an estimated 172,988 units, down 26.9 percent from the 236,527 vehicles built in like-2000.

This week's Canadian vehicle production is estimated at 41,057, a tremendous increase from the 8,514 units assembled last week. Estimated calendar-2001 Canadian vehicle production now stands at 41,057 units, down 28.5 percent compared to the 57,398 vehicles produced in like-2000.

Of the cars and trucks slated for production this week in the U.S., General Motors Corp. accounted for 31.3 percent; Ford Motor Co., 31.4 percent; Chrysler of DaimlerChrysler, 8.9 percent; Honda of America Mfg. Inc., 6.3 percent; Toyota Motor Mfg. Inc., 6.1 percent; Nissan Motor Mfg. Corp., 4.0 percent; New United Motor Mfg. Inc., 4.0 percent; Subaru-Isuzu Automotive Inc., 2.0 percent; Mitsubishi Motor Mfg. of America Inc., 1.2 percent; AutoAlliance International Inc., 1.0 percent; Mercedes-Benz U.S. of DaimlerChrysler, 0.8 percent; BMW of North America Inc., 1.0 percent; and other manufacturers, 2.0 percent.