It’s official: Japanese automakers build more cars and trucks in North America than General Motors. The milestone has been expected for some time now, with manufacturers like Toyota and Honda churning out some 4.8 million vehicles in the region in 2005, and GM whittling away its totals to 4.6 million. The gulf is expected to accelerate as GM continues to ‘right size’ its manufacturing both within and beyond America’s borders over the coming years.

The report by Scotia Economics indicates that Asian companies will increase their share of global capacity to 37-percent by decade’s end (it was 34-percent in 2004). Further, it estimates that if GM and Ford can make good on their cutback plans, by the end of 2008 North American capacity will represent under 20-percent of global automaking capacity-- a number that stood at 30-percent as recently as 1999.

[Sources: AFP via Servihoo, Boston.com]

(Appreciate the tip, Carpenter!)