Vehicle exports from Japan dropped by 2.9 percent to 371,421 vehicles in November, according to the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association. This was because of a sharp decrease in exports to Europe despite increased shipments to Asia.

However, annual export shipments for 2000 are expected to increase for the first time in three years even though exports to Europe and the US are down by 21.7 percent and 8.5 percent respectively.

Exports to other areas have increased, especially to Asia, where the figure grew by 38.3 percent.

Mitsubishi exports have jumped by 40 percent, and Nissan Diesel and Suzuki are also expected to report large increases.