Honda's Global Production Rises, Toyota, Nissan Slip

TOKYO (AP) - Japan's second largest auto maker Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday that global production rose for the 20th straight month in March, while top auto maker Toyota Motor Corp. reported a drop in worldwide output.

Honda Motor, Japan's second largest car maker by sales volume, said worldwide production totaled 356,031 vehicles in March, up 5.7 percent from the same month a year ago.

Domestic production rose 2.3 percent for the year, marking a tenth consecutive month of gains and showing that upbeat overseas sales continue to more than offset a slumping home market.

Honda produced 125,181 vehicles in Japan for the month, and another 230,850 overseas. For the just-ended fiscal year, domestic production climbed for the first time in two years, jumping 8.4 percent to 1.348 million vehicles.

Meanwhile, Toyota - closing in on General Motors Corp.'s spot as the world's biggest vehicle maker - reported a 1.0 percent drop in worldwide output for March from the year before, to 771,863 vehicles.

Toyota said it reduced domestic production in March by 5 percent on the year to 392,422 vehicles, marking the first fall in 19 months, as it compensated for the slump in domestic sales.

Overseas production in March was up 3.6 percent at 379,441 vehicles. For the fiscal year ending March, the company said domestic production rose 8.3 percent to 4.19 million vehicles.

Other manufacturers handed in mixed results for March.

Nissan Motor Co., Japan's third biggest car maker, said global production in March decreased 9.8 percent year-on-year to 308,729 vehicles.

Production in Japan fell 20 percent on the year to 109,582 vehicles, as domestic sales and exports declined, Nissan said. This was the fifteenth straight month of falls. Overseas production also dropped, falling 3.2 percent on year to 199,147 vehicles.

For the last fiscal year ending March, Nissan produced 1.19 million vehicles in Japan, down 13 percent on the year. Overseas production fell 2.9 percent to 2.01 million vehicles.

Mazda Motor Corp., an affiliate of Ford Motor Co., said its March global production fell 6.8 percent to 116,261 vehicles. Domestic production fell 2.2 percent on year to 86,042 vehicles - the second straight month of declines - while overseas production fell 17.7 percent to 30,219 vehicles.

However, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said its production rose 5.4 percent on year in March to 140,584 vehicles. Domestic output rose 6.3 percent on the year to 86,240 vehicles, increasing for the sixth straight month, while overseas production grew 4.0 percent to 54,344 vehicles.


 

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