Japanese more efficient, Big 3 more profitable

THE BALTIMORE SUN

DETROIT -- Nissan Motor Co. and other Japanese companies remain the most efficient automakers in North America, but U.S. automakers, led by Chrysler Corp., continue to make more profit on each vehicle, an annual study has found.

The study was released yesterday by Harbor and Associates, a Troy, Mich., consulting firm.

For the third straight year, Nissan was the most productive North American manufacturer, using an average of 2.09 workers to build a vehicle at its Smyrna, Tenn., plant last year. Next were Honda Motor Co.'s Ohio plants, with 2.53 workers per vehicle.

Ford Motor Co. was the most productive U.S.-based automaker, requiring 3.11 workers to build a vehicle. Chrysler followed with 3.41 and General Motors Corp. trailed with 3.6.

Chrysler, GM and Ford beat their foreign competition in profitability. Chrysler made an average of $628 per vehicle, followed by GM with $431 and Ford with $415.

Toyota made $400 a vehicle, but half of that came from interest earned on $33 billion in cash reserves, the survey said.

Pub Date: 5/30/96

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