JAPAN: Three of five automakers boost production in February

By just-auto.com editorial team | 29 March 2005

Three of Japan's five major car makers boosted production in their home country in February compared to the same month a year ago, manufacturer figures showed.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Toyota boosted Japanese production in February by 342,657 vehicles, up 10.4% from a year earlier, the second consecutive month of increases, while exports grew 10.2% to 169,282 vehicles and overseas production was up 13.4% at 260,972 vehicles.

Nissan Motor's Japanese production rose 7.0% to 148,764 vehicles, the second straight month of rises, while exports rose 7.7% to 64,272 vehicles and overseas production rose 14.4% to 167,640 vehicles, the report added.

AP said Honda's domestic production climbed 9.4% to 114,576 vehicles in February, the fourth straight month of gains, driven by strong export demand, as exports rose 21.3% to 48,254 vehicles, led by strong North American demand for the Acura RL and Accord petrol-electric hybrid model. Honda's overseas production reportedly rose 11.2% to 165,960 vehicles for the 13th straight monthly increase.

However, the Associated Press noted, Japanese production at Mazda fell 1.3% in February to 66,614 vehicles, the third consecutive decline, stemming from a plant fire in mid-December that forced the automaker to close a paint shop.

According to AP, Mazda's overseas output in February increased 4.9% to 21,436 vehicles, rising for the first time in two months, while exports fell 18.1% to 38,151 vehicles.

Mitsubishi Motors told the news agency its production in Japan fell 19.3% to 54,135 vehicles for the 10th straight decline as domestic sales and exports dropped - exports fell 1.1% to 28,788 vehicles and overseas production fell 7.5% to 54,938 vehicles.