Honda moved ahead of rival Nissan to become Japan#;s second-largest car maker in 2001.

Honda increased production by 6.8 percent to build 2.65 million cars and light trucks in 2001 as Nissan#;s five percent cut dropped its output to 2.47 million.

Toyota stayed on top with 5.13 million vehicles despite dropping its build rate by nearly one percent. Also in the top five were Mitsubishi with 1.67 million vehicles and Mazda at just under 870,000.