North American auto makers produced 1,461,068 light vehicles in October, up 17.2% from year-ago.

The Detroit Three combined to build 783,610 LVs during the month, with General Motors and Ford rebounding from year-on-year decreases. GM built 298,879 units, up 9.2%, and Ford’s October output was 268,444, up 14.3%. Chrysler was up 18.4% with 216,287.

Japanese auto makers continued their recovery from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan that cut supplies to North American factories. In the first 10 months of 2012, Toyota built 1,439,833 units, up 53.1% over prior-year. Honda output jumped 57.1% through October to 1,436,054.

Toyota announced a milestone of 25 million LVs produced in North America since launching output in 1986. The total included the Toyota Camry currently built by Subaru and Toyota-brand vehicles made by New United Motor Mfg. a GM-Toyota joint venture from 1984 to 2010.

In the U.S., October LV output reached 959,307, up 16.7% over year-ago. The year-to-date total was 8,543,457, a 21.7% increase compared with prior-year.

Production in Canada climbed 20.2% from year-ago, to 222,534 units. Output in the first 10 months reached 2,078,150, beating like-2011 by 18.8%.

Mexican plants made 279,227 LVs last month, up 16.7%. Year-to-date builds of 2,240,871 rose 13.4%.

Through October, 5,908,005 cars were produced in North America, a 27.1% gain on prior-year. Light-truck output grew 14.1%, to 7,134,473. 

The greater increase in car output reflected higher demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Year-to-date car deliveries in the U.S. climbed 19% in October, while light trucks rose only 8.8%.

North America’s 10-month LV production totaled 13,042,478 units, a 19.6% increase over year-ago.

eberger@wardsauto.com