Japanese car makers, trying to make up for production lost last year, boosted production at overseas plants by 25% to 1.37m units in February, the third consecutive month of year-on-year growth.

Strong demand in both the US and China helped the increase, they said.

Toyota said it produced 465,095 units, up 32.3% and a record for the month.

Nissan also had a record month, up 31.8% at 338,388 vehicles, while Honda reported the first output gain in five months.

Mazda was the only company not to increases overseas production, falling 1.2% to 32,300 units on the back of weak demand for its commercial vehicles.

Domestic production in February increased for the fifth month in a row to a total of 906,673 units, up 19.2% from a year earlier. Only Mazda and Mitsubishi assembled fewer vehicles.

Total exports by the eight manufacturers were up 4.4% at 425,800 vehicles.