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June 23, 2003

JAPAN: Toyota global output up 3.8% year on year in May – report

Toyota Motor said on Monday its global output rose 3.8% in May from a year earlier helped by a double-digit jump in overseas production to a record high of 219,376 vehicles, Reuters reported. Toyota built 491,166 vehicles worldwide, as production in most regions outside Japan grew for the 17th consecutive month, making up for a 3.6% fall in domestic output, the report said.

By bcusack

Toyota Motor said on Monday its global output rose 3.8% in May from a year earlier helped by a double-digit jump in overseas production to a record high of 219,376 vehicles, Reuters reported.

Toyota built 491,166 vehicles worldwide, as production in most regions outside Japan grew for the 17th consecutive month, making up for a 3.6% fall in domestic output, the report said.

Honda posted similar growth in overseas output – 14.9% against Toyota’s 14.7% – but its global output fell 0.6% as domestic output skidded 19.7% due to chronically weak sales at home, Reuters said.

Global production at Nissan Motor also dipped, for the first time in 15 months. The decline was led by big falls in Britain and Mexico, which outweighed rises elsewhere, including a 136% jump in China, the report added, noting that Nissan produced 229,955 vehicles worldwide, down 0.7%.

However, Reuters said, unlike its bigger rivals, Nissan posted a slight rise in domestic output thanks to a string of new models including the Teana luxury sedan in Japan and the Fairlady Z, or 350Z sports car sold at home and in North America.

The rise in domestic output came despite a shift in production of the Maxima sedan to its plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, from Japan, Nissan said, according to the news agency.

Mazda Motor alone posted production growth both at home and overseas, Reuters said. Domestic output rose for the first time in three months driven by the Atenza/Mazda6 sedan and Demio/Mazda2 subcompact, while overseas production grew for the ninth straight month, by 6.6%, as it built more Premacy minivans and Tribute sport utility vehicles.

According to Reuters, global output at Mitsubishi Motors fell 1.5% to 125,663 units despite a strong expansion at home aided by the launch in May of the new Grandis minivan.

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