Honda Motor has reported a year-on-year production decrease in Japan for the second consecutive year but said increased output in Asia meant production in regions outside Japan rose for the 12th consecutive year.


Its global production also rose for the 12th consecutive year – by 1.2% to 3,957,381.


Honda said it had also set calendar year production records for regions outside Japan, worldwide production, plus production in Asia and China. The overseas output tally was 2,692,994, up 4.4%.


But, in common with rival Japanese automakers reporting on Wednesday, Honda’s December 2008 production fell – off 7.5% globally to 277,294 units, the third consecutive monthly drop. Production outside Japan was down 11% to 169,180 and domestic output fell for the second consecutive month.


Domestic auto sales, however, rose for the first time in four years in calendar year 2008 (by 0.4% to 624,499) due mainly to strong sales of the Fit (Jazz) and Freed, Honda said. Sales of minivehicles fell for the second consecutive year – by 10.2% to 200,928. The Fit was the industry’s best-selling car in 2008 with 174,910 units.


Domestic sales in December fell for the second consecutive month by 18.5% to 45,759.


Calendar year exports fell for the first time in five years (-8.5% to 650,308 units).


December exports fell for the third consecutive month to 51,893, off 17.5%.