Honda set a new record for overseas and worldwide auto production for the month of May - 329,507 units.

Due to increased production for both the domestic and overseas markets, Japan domestic production experienced a year-on-year increase for the 12th consecutive month to 105,188.

Due mainly to increased production in North America, Europe, and Asia, overseas output rose year-on-year for the 22nd consecutive month to 224,319. Honda achieved new production records in North America, the US, Europe, Asia and China last month and also set a new monthly record for overseas production for the month of May.

Year-to-date production was up 8.3% to 1,615,696 units. Domestic production was up 6.5% to 560,708 and overseas production rose 9.4% to 1,054,988.

Due to a decrease in both new vehicle registrations and mini-vehicle sales, total domestic sales experienced a year-on-year decline for the fifth consecutive month (-13/3% to 42,031).

Due mainly to a decrease in sales of Zest and Life, sales of mini-vehicles experienced a year-on-year decline for the third consecutive month.

At rival Mitsubishi, total global production came in at 108,426 units last month, an increase of 6.5% over May 2006.

Production volume in Japan increased 14.1% to 57,532 units, marking the eighth consecutive month of year-on-year growth. This growth was mainly driven by increases in output of the new Outlander for the US, European and Chinese markets, and of the new Pajero [Shogun] for the European market.

Vehicle sales in Japan in May totaled 14,496 units, a 14.2% decline year-on-year as higher registered vehicle sales failed to make up for a drop in mini-car sales. Registered vehicle sales stood at 4,871 units, 9.3% up on the same month last year. Mini-car sales declined to 9,625 units, 22.6% down.

Overseas production volume totaled 50,894 units, 0.9% down over May last year. Production in Europe came in at 6,080 units or 33.5% down on last year's figure, reflecting a drop in output of Colt models at NedCar.

Production in North American rose to 8,183 units, 1.5% up on the level seen last year. In Asia production rose to 33,483 units, 9.6% up on May 2006 and driven in part by a 71.5% rise in L200 pick-up truck exports from Thailand.

Total exports from Japan of 48,388 units were 40.4% up on May 2006, marking the seventh consecutive month of year-on-year increases.

Exports to Europe increased to 21,426 units, a strong 70.3% rise that reflected firm sales of Lancer and Outlander models.

Exports to Asia rose to 2,904 units, a 48.1% increase over the same period last year as sales of new Outlander in China grew briskly. Exports to North America fell to 3,746 units, 11.1% down on the May 2006 level.

Mazda Motor Corporation's domestic production was up 8% to 73,175 units last month and up just 0.4% to 387,318 YTD.

Overseas output dropped 27.9% to 19,241 and fell 16.4% to 133,798 YTD though it should be noted that European production of the 2 (Demio) at a Spanish Ford plant is ending.

Mazda said the domestic output increase was mainly due to healthy production volumes of the 3 and 5.

It added the overseas drop was due to reduced production of the 6 and other models though output of the 3 increased.

On a market basis, Mazda noted that exports to Europe were particularly healthy, reaching 22,734 units (up 21.9% year-on-year) mainly due to an increased export volume of the 3.