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Big 3 push US factories to capacity

from The Detroit News

The rebound of the American automobile industry has plants across the country running all-out. By the end of the year, all three Detroit automakers will be operating at more than 100 percent capacity in North America — a major turnaround for an industry that saw plant utilization fall below 50 percent three years ago. "All three companies were running below 100 percent last year," said manufacturing expert Ron Harbour, a senior partner at Oliver Wyman. "By my estimate, we now show all three of them running over 100 percent." An analysis conducted by Harbour for The Detroit News shows that Ford Motor Co. is making the best use of its factories, with North American capacity utilization on track this year to reach 113 percent. He put General Motors Co.'s capacity utilization rate at 108 percent. Harbour estimated that Chrysler Group LLC would use about 104 percent of its capacity. more

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