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Research Highlight: Vehicle Production and Sales Rise in Face of Increased COVID-19 Cases

North American car and truck production came to a halt in April 2020 when manufacturing facilities and plants were forced to shut down due to COVID-19. Production numbers in the North America dropped dramatically from 1,056,117 in March 2020 to 4,840 in April 2020.  While states resumed production in mid-May, total North American production did not return to its pre-COVID levels with truck production at 1,012,713 and car production at 323,605 until Sept. 2020. This is slightly higher than Sept. 2019 production levels, which were lower than usual due to the 40-day UAW strike against General Motors from Sept. 15 to Oct. 25 in 2019.

Along with positive production numbers, light weight vehicles sales have also increased steadily since the initial impacts of COVID-19. The decline in sales began in March 2020, as dealerships closed in many states. Sales went from 994,202 units in March 2020 to 717,040 in April 2020. This is the lowest total United States monthly vehicle sales since early 2010. However, in Sept. 2020, 1.34 million units were sold.

Overall, in spite of a recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the United States, the production and sales numbers show a strengthening V-shaped recovery and a positive outlook for the automotive industry.

However, the question is whether this “return to normal” is sustainable. In order to ensure automotive manufacturing continues to operate and production and sales numbers continue at their current levels, employees need to commit to personal safety protocols too. Therefore, MICHauto is asking employers to share “SMART” Covid-19 personal safety protocols with their employees through commitment to the Work Smart, Play Smart to Keep Manufacturing Open campaign. If workers implement the simple practices included in the toolkit, they will ensure automotive manufacturing continues to operate and workplaces remain safe. Help keep manufacturing open, up and running. View the toolkit by following the link below.

View the MICHauto Work Smart, Play Smart to Keep Manufacturing Open toolkit.

View the complete data for the automotive economic indicators and watch for monthly updates – U.S. Light Weight Vehicles Sales and North American Car and Truck Production.