Vehicle production last week in the US, Canada and Mexico is expected to have hit an estimated 354,218 units, up 20.3 percent from the 294,562 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 11,462,413 vehicles, down 3.9 percent from like-2002's pace.

In the US, automakers are expected to have produced 264,674 vehicles last week, up 21.4 percent from the 217,994 cars and trucks built in the previous week. To date, calendar 2003 US vehicle output totals an estimated 8,439,806 units, down 3.3 percent from the 8,729,170 vehicles built in like-2002.

Last week's Canadian vehicle production is estimated at 55,779, a 33.4 percent increase from the 41,819 units assembled the previous week. Estimated calendar-2003 Canadian vehicle production now stands at 1,809,464 units, down 5.0 percent compared to the 1,903,871 vehicles produced in like-2002.

Of the cars and trucks slated for production last week in the U.S., General Motors Corp. accounted for 33.8 percent; Ford Motor Co., 24.2 percent; Chrysler of DaimlerChrysler, 15.0 percent; Honda of America Mfg. Inc., 6.4 percent; Toyota Motor Mfg. Inc., 5.9 percent; Nissan Motor Mfg. Corp., 4.5 percent; New United Motor Mfg. Inc., 3.3 percent; BMW of North America Inc., 1.3 percent; Mitsubishi Motor Mfg. of America Inc., 1.6 percent; AutoAlliance International Inc., 0.9 percent; Subaru Automotive Inc., 0.8 percent; Mercedes-Benz U.S. of DaimlerChrysler, 0.7 percent; and other manufacturers, 1.6 percent.