The Blue Oval's got potential. Lots of it. Gobs of the stuff. In fact, they've got so much 'potential' they're practically bursting at the seams. How much? Try 21-percent. That's because Ford leads the industry in a rather unflattering category-- lowest capacity utilization. The automaker only made use of 79-percent of its North American plant capacity in 2005. General Motors was the runner up in this episode of American Idle, albeit with a significantly better 87-percent.

Those numbers actually don't sound too bad, but Harbour Consulting (the firm responsible for compiling the numbers) grades on a curve. And that curve is set by the Asians. The Japanese 'Big Three,' Toyota, Honda and Nissan all cranked 'em out to the tune of 95-percent plus. In fact, Toyota was workin' overtime, leading the industry with an astounding 111-percent (apparently all those apples for the teacher paid off), followed by Honda and Nissan at 97-percent.

Daimler-Chrysler, rather unsurprisingly, was awarded the best report card of the 'Americans' at 93-percent.

[Source: Reuters via ABC News]



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