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.
Riding the wave of pent-up demand and a production ramp-up, the Tesla Model S was the fourth best-selling US plug-in vehicle during the fourth quarter of 2012 and was the second-most popular US-made plug-in vehicle. Not bad for a vehicle that costs about twice as much as almost all of its current competitors.
Honda has officially joined the ranks of automakers like Kia and Ford by posting solid profits during the fourth quarter of the company's fiscal year. The Japanese automaker managed to see profits rise by 28 percent compared to the same period last year, thanks largely to increased hybrid sales. The announcement marks the fourth-straight quarter of profits for the company after seeing a rare operating loss at the end of March, 2009.
General Motors reported its delayed fourth quarter earnings today and, lo and behold, managed to earn a net income of $950 million in the waning months of 2006. Compare that with last year's Q4 loss of $6.6 billion, and today's news is all the more incredible.