Automakers to boost compact car production

By the Associated Press | August 30, 2011 | 5:50 PM EDT

DETROIT (AP) — Automakers are gearing up to make more compact cars this year, in a bet that one of the hottest car trends will continue in the face of economic uncertainty.

They're expecting increased sales as consumers go for lower sticker prices and higher gas mileage to save money.

Two people briefed on the matter say General Motors will add Saturday shifts in September to make more Chevrolet Cruze compacts. The people didn't want to be identified because workers haven't been told yet.

Ford, Hyundai and Toyota also are adding Saturday shifts to make more compacts.

Analysts and dealers expect more discounts on compacts as Honda and Toyota restock dealer lots. Both companies ran short of the cars due to the March earthquake in Japan.