North American vehicle production jumped 23 percent in August to 1.39 million, according to the Automotive News Research & Data Center.
Monthly production has topped the year-earlier period for seven straight months, as chip supply has slowly recovered following the slowest production year in a decade. Through eight months of 2022, assembly plant output is up 10 percent to 9.76 million.
August’s output matched that of 2020, though it remained short of the 1.52 million average for August from 2012 through 2019.
Full-year production exceeded 16 million from 2013 through 2019, before plunging 19 percent in 2020 because of factory shutdowns to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. In April 2020, North American production came to a near-complete halt: Only 6,523 vehicles were produced, according to the data center.
Production returned to pre-pandemic levels in the second half of 2020, but then in 2021 output was stymied by a lack of semiconductors, depleting inventory and sending vehicle prices to record highs.
After two years of deeply depressed production, the gains in 2022 indicate progress toward meeting demand and early steps toward restocking depleted dealership lots.