Toyota and Nissan on Thursday said their domestic production edged down in June as they boosted output at overseas plants to meet growing demand for exports.

Honda and Mazda, meanwhile, said they increased domestic production to handle growing national and international sales. Mitsubishi Motors said it increased production in Japan as overseas output dropped, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Toyota reportedly reduced domestic production in June by 0.3% on year to 333,570 vehicles, marking the first fall in six months. That was balanced, however, by a 17.5% increase in overseas production to 323,770 units.

Toyota exports in June jumped 10.7%, mostly on the back of strong performance in North American and Middle Eastern markets, the company said, according to AP.

The carmaker also announced on Thursday that it had lifted its group-wide global sales target for this year to 8.16 million vehicles from its previous target of 8.03 million - a rise of 9% from its sales volume worldwide in 2004, AP added.

According to the Associated Press, Nissan also clipped domestic production by 0.6% to 125,272 units, but ramped up overseas production by a hefty 27. 3% to 183,440 - that included a 25.6% boost in the US, fuelled by strong sales of its Pathfinder SUV.

Nissan saw strong growth in sales in June both at home - 18.3% - and in all major international markets, lead by an 18.8% increase in the US and 10.1% in Europe, AP said.

The report said Honda's domestic production rose 2.1% to 111,071 units in June, while overseas production soared 21.3% to 192,640, led by a 30.2% hike in output in the US.

But AP noted that Honda's strong suit in sales was domestic, where it sold 70,148 models, an increase of 21.4%, driven by the popularity of its new Step Wagon, Airwave and Honda Life.

Exports rose 4.4% to 47,029, boosted by a strong 23.5% sales surge in Europe.

The Associated Press said Mazda posted a strong 10% increase in domestic production to 78,895 units in June, fueled by a 6.1% increase in domestic sales. The Premacy, Carol and Bongo Van were all strong sellers.

Overseas Mazda production slid 17.4% to 22,344 units, despite a healthy 5.7% increase in exports to 49,905, the company reportedly said.

Mitsubishi Motors' domestic production rose on year for the first time since April 2004 as its domestic sales have been slow to recover from a slump after the recall of defective products last year, AP noted.

Domestic sales grew 4.7% to 18,845 vehicles and exports increased 9.4% to 31,300 vehicles. Its overseas production was down 12.6% at 64,134 vehicles, according to the Associated Press.

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