The combined domestic output of eight major Japanese automakers in May grew 6.1 percent from a year earlier to 730,389 vehicles, rising for the ninth consecutive month, as orders were carried over from robust demand prior to the sales tax hike in April, according to data released Friday.
All the automakers except Toyota Motor Corp. saw output increases in May, due partly to brisk sales of some newly introduced models, the companies said.
Honda Motor Co.'s production surged 50.7 percent largely thanks to its Fit compact car renovated last year. Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s production increased 25.5 percent on strong demand for its eK Space minicars, while Suzuki Motor Corp. saw a 20.6 percent rise on solid sales of its Hustler minicars.
Toyota's domestic production declined 8.9 percent.
Combined domestic sales in May were down 0.6 percent from a year earlier, showing signs of recovery from April when sales plunged 4.5 percent due to the negative impact of the April 1 consumption tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent.
The automakers' combined overseas production rose 4.5 percent to 1,444,603 units, with Nissan Motor Co. and Honda achieving record highs for the month of May thanks to robust demand in North America and China.
Nissan produced 364,197 units outside Japan in the reporting month, up 11.6 percent from the year before, and Honda's output abroad increased 1.9 percent to 299.916 units.
Nissan said its production rose to record highs for the month in the United States and Mexico, while Honda reported an all-time monthly high for its output in Asia, with production in China increasing 33.7 percent.
Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Corp.'s overseas output fell 2.9 percent to 472,890 units for the first fall in nine months due mainly to declines in Asia, Australia and Africa.
Combined exports declined 10.4 percent to 296,987 units, with Honda's sliding 79.4 percent as the automaker bolstered production capacity in North America.
The eight automakers also include Mazda Motor Corp., Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and Daihatsu Motor Co.
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