Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/30/2013 -- BMI has highlighted the record North American production achieved by Japanese brands Honda Motor and Toyota Motor in 2012, as they recovered from the natural disasters that had hampered production in 2011. This led to an upward revision of our US production forecasts. As there are instances of Japanese brands using Canada as a global base for certain models - Honda uses its Canadian plant as a base for its small cars and crossovers - a similar impact is being felt in the country, with total light vehicle production for 10M12 18.6% higher year-on-year (y-o-y).
We have revised our passenger car output growth forecast for 2012 to 15%, in light of better-than-expected production, as well as the agreements reached between the Big Three carmakers and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, which removed the previous downside risk of disruption through strike action.
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Similarly, we have revised our sales outlook for passenger cars up slightly to 8.0%, as sales for 10M12 were 10.1% higher y-o-y, although sales for the latter months of the year are, traditionally, slower. Our view on weaker growth for the light truck market has played out, with sales up 4.1% y-o-y for the 10-month period, in line with our forecast. The strength of the recovering car brands is also evident in the Detroit/import sales split, with growth of 12.7% y-o-y for import nameplates, compared with 0.2% for Ford Motor, Chrysler and General Motors Company (GM) combined.
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