It’s a trend that shows up in the monthly sales figures: Americans have a taste for trucks, SUVs and crossovers, and they’ve lost their taste for sedans. For many automakers who dedicate plants to producing single vehicle models, this has been a difficult transition to manage: some assembly lines are humming 24/7, while others are down to 30 percent capacity for a single shift per day. Overhead costs soar, and highly lopsided profit and loss figures emerge. This is particularly true of American brands, which favor dedicated production lines, and it will become more of a problem as vehicle sales slow further thanks to rising interest rates, trade wars and slowing demand for vehicles in China.
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