Ford adds 900 hourly workers to Kansas City Assembly Plant

Despite having fewer manufacturing plants than 1999, when US auto production reached an all-time fourth-quarter high of 4.28-million units, US factories are expected to make 4.02-million light vehicles in the period from October to December, Wards Auto reports. It would mark the best fourth quarter in 14 years, and the fourth best ever.

It's predicted that Ford, Chrysler and General Motors will each build more light vehicles in the fourth quarter than they have in the last six years. It'll reportedly be Ford's best since 2005, Chrysler's best since 2006 and GM's best since 2007. Honda, Nissan and Toyota are also expecting to achieve all-time production records in the quarter.

To achieve these production numbers, automakers are making more vehicles with fewer factories, maximizing output. In a recent survey, 26 percent of suppliers said they're having trouble keeping up with demand this year, and if the US auto industry reaches 16 million next year, which is very possible as long as growth continues, 28 percent said they won't be able to meet supply expectations.

Auto production in the US is reportedly is expected to reach 15.6 million units in 2013. Wards Auto predicts 16.5-million vehicles will have to be produced in 2014 to meet demand, and more than 17 million the following year.