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August 23, 2009

Auto Briefs

U.S. auto plants step up production and Lexus places first in buyer satisfaction

Ford production

Workers assemble Ford Focuses in May 2008 in Wayne, Mich. (Gary Malerba / Associated Press)

Automakers begin boosting production
After the best month for auto sales in almost a year in July, several automakers are cautiously increasing production. Ford is raising production of the Focus and Escape, Chrysler is adding overtime at most of its plants and GM is adding 60,000 vehicles to its production in the third and fourth quarters. Toyota began increasing production of the Corolla, the RAV4 crossover and the Tacoma in July -- all of which are built at facilities in North America. Honda is adding Saturday overtime shifts over the next few months at its auto assembly plants in Ohio, Alabama and Indiana, and Hyundai is recalling more than 3,000 employees at its plant in central Alabama.

--Associated Press

Lexus LS

Toyota

Lexux LS top in value and satisfaction
The Lexus LS placed highest of any 2009 model year vehicle in this year's Motorist Choice Awards, which recognize new cars and trucks that give their owners both economic and emotional satisfaction. Large and luxury vehicles dominated, with the top 34 cars, and 106 of the top 107, being large cars, luxury cars, SUVs, crossover SUVs or minivans. The awards combine AutoPacific's owner satisfaction data from new car and truck buyers with IntelliChoice.com's cost-of-ownership ratings.

--NWautos staff

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