Most Japan automakers report weak July production


TOKYO (AP) — Most Japanese automakers reported lackluster
vehicle production and sales for July, underscoring ongoing malaise in
the industry as it grapples with a strong yen, precarious global economy
and recovery from the March 11 tsunami.
Worldwide production at
Toyota Motor Corp. fell 6.1 percent from a year earlier to 594,614
vehicles, the company said Tuesday. Its domestic sales of passenger
cars, trucks and buses tumbled more than 35 percent, and exports fell 5
percent due to weaker shipments to North America.
Toyota, however,
said its production returned to levels that were near to what it had
planned before the March earthquake and tsunami struck Japan’s
northeastern coast, wiping out auto parts suppliers.
The automaker
is preparing to ramp up production in the coming months to make up for
the capacity lost to the disaster. Between October and March 2012, the
automaker plans to build an extra 350,000 vehicles.
The numbers
were worse at Honda Motor Co., where global production tumbled more than
34 percent to 206,727 vehicles in July. It was the sixth straight month
of decline.
Honda’s domestic sales of vehicles fell 31.5 percent and exports retreated more than 19 percent.
Standing above the crowd was Nissan Motor Co., which continued to gain momentum and set company records
in July.
Yokohama-based automaker recorded an almost 18 percent jump in
worldwide output to 388,680 vehicles — its best-ever July performance.
Production in the U.S. benefited from stronger demand for the Altima
sedan, Nissan said.
Although Nissan’s Japan sales fell 17 percent
in volume terms, global sales overall rose 8 percent. Exports surged
more than 23 percent.
Among Japan’s other car makers, Suzuki Motor Corp. posted a 3.6 percent decline in global production to
228,147 vehicles.
output at Mazda Motor Corp. fell almost 13 percent to 103,384 vehicles.
At Mitsubishi Motors Corp., it declined about 5 percent to 97,862
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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