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Mazda Motor Corp. plans a slight increase in production and sales of its vehicles next year, President and CEO James Miller told a press conference Thursday. According to the plan, the automaker, based in Hiroshima Prefecture, will manufacture 825,000 units in Japan, up 6.2 percent from this year’s anticipated total, and 175,000 units overseas, up 18.2 percent. The company’s sales target for next year is set at 850,000 units — 335,000 units in Japan and 515,000 units overseas. This year, the company expects to produce 777,000 units in Japan, down 7.3 percent from the previous year, and 148,000 units in foreign countries, up 18.4 percent from a year earlier. The company also predicts that 822,000 units will be sold worldwide this year, 6.1 percent fewer than the previous year. Asked about a recent media report that he might be replaced soon because of his health, Miller said it was “entirely speculative.”

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