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Companies will increase their production capacity in 2017.

Companies will increase their production capacities in 2017.

A Google search shows that "capacity" is more common. But I wonder, would it be correct to use the plural form, considering that each company has a different capacity?

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The singular is correct

production capacity

is the name of an operating item. Consider

Companies will increase their headcount.
Companies will increase their investment spending.
Companies will increase their parking lot size.

in none of these similar examples would the plural be used.

  • Can you elaborate on why the singular form is correct? I realized that I should use the singular form but was not sure about the reason behind it. – Dtan13 Dec 28 '16 at 4:19
  • A company's "production capacity" without further context is the aggregate capacity, of which there is only one. – Peter Dec 28 '16 at 4:23
  • But there are several companies here and each company has a different capacity. Why is it not necessary to use "capacities" to highlight that fact? – Dtan13 Dec 28 '16 at 9:16
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    The sentence would be understood to be "(Each of the) companies will increase their (individual) production capacity in 2017." – Peter Dec 28 '16 at 9:19
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You can use capacities if there is something countable about what the speaker is trying to express.

Acme will increase their capacities at 3 factories to meet seasonal demand.

Though using the singular expresses nearly the exact same thing.

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