The North American auto industry will look back on 2001 with mixed feelings – according to figures from Ward’s Automotive Reports, sales have remained high, but production slumped to a five-year low.

Encouraged by zero financing deals, consumers in the US, Canada and Mexico have purchased between 16.8 million and 17.1m vehicles this year, just a nose behind the record of 17.4m in 2000.

However, the number of vehicles built has tumbled 10.8%, from 17.7m to 15.8m, the lowest figure since 1996.

In the US, the leading manufacturer is General Motors, which produced 32.7% of cars and trucks. Second was Ford (28.3%), then Chrysler (14.2%), Honda of America (6.1%), Toyota (5.4%) and Nissan (2.8%).

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