Domestic production of cars, trucks and buses in Japan increased 11.1 percent in April from a year earlier for the third consecutive monthly gain, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said Thursday.

Automakers produced a total of 791,107 vehicles in the month thanks to an estimated 20 percent rise in exports. Domestic demand fell 1.3 percent to 408,910 units.

Output of passenger cars with engines larger than 2000cc surged 19.3 percent to 259,466 units while that of smaller passenger cars rose 12.2 percent to 296,727 units. Minicars with engines up to 660cc edged down 0.8 percent to 101,289 units.

Production of trucks gained 4 percent to 129,201 units, while that of buses rose 21.1 percent to 4,424 units.

The monthly figure brought the aggregate output of all the vehicle types for the January-April period to 3,491,361 units, up 3.4 percent from the same period last year.

Another loss for MMC

Hurt by a stronger yen and declining sales, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. suffered another loss-making year in fiscal 1999, according to its earnings report released Thursday.

Mitsubishi posted 3.8 billion yen in consolidated pretax losses for the business year that ended in March, slightly down from its losses of 4.2 billion yen in the previous year.

Its group-wide sales tapered off 5.1 percent to 3.34 trillion yen, resulting in consolidated net losses of 23.3 billion yen, as opposed to 5.7 billion yen in net profits in the year before.

Consolidated operating profits dropped 59.8 percent from the previous year to 22.5 billion yen. Mitsubishi’s group car sales remained flat in terms of volume. The carmaker sold 1.5 million units during fiscal 1999.

On an unconsolidated basis, both Mitsubishi’s pretax profits and sales shrank.

Pretax profits dropped 21.1 percent from the previous year to 6.3 billion yen, while sales fell 9.7 percent to 2.11 trillion yen. Operating profits declined 38.2 percent to 13.4 billion yen while net profits plunged to 515 million yen, down 97.9 percent from the previous year prior.

For the current business year through March 2001, the company projects consolidated pretax profits of 20 billion yen and group sales of 3.55 trillion yen.

On an unconsolidated basis, it forecasts pretax profits of 20 billion yen on sales of 2.25 trillion yen.