Surging demand for German premium brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz helped push European auto production to its highest monthly total of 2010.
Automakers made 1,591,586 cars in Europe in June, a year-on-year increase of 8 percent, according to estimates from J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting.
Previously, the most productive month of 2010 was March, when 1,584,431 vehicles were made. Through six months European production is up 21 percent to 8,794,091, J.D. Power data shows.
Daimler AG's Mercedes E class, BMW AG's new 5 series and Volkswagen AG luxury brand Audi's revamped A8 are attracting wealthy buyers in the United States and China. This has prompted the German carmakers to add workers and cut summer factory breaks to boost production as demand for luxury cars returns quicker than they had planned.
In June, all three premium brands increased production by more than 20 percent, J.D. Power data shows. Through six months, Audi was the leader among the trio with a European output of 519,118 vehicles, which is an increase of 34.2 percent from the 386,821 units it made in the first half of 2009. (See table, bottom)
The automakers expect demand to continue. Daimler has hired 1,800 temporary workers and added Saturday shifts at German assembly plants making the SLS gullwing supercar, GLK SUV and E-class convertible. Audi is putting on extra shifts. BMW has added 5,000 temporary workers.
Porsche, Land Rover, Jaguar and Maserati also increased their June production volumes by double-digit percentages.
Bloomberg contributed to this report