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Japan’s 11 automakers exported 314,602 cars, trucks and buses in May, up 1.9 percent from the same month the previous year, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said Wednesday.

The association attributed the rise to the recovery of the Asian auto market and strong demand in the United States.

U.S.-bound exports jumped 14.8 percent to 124,665 units, up for the fourth consecutive month, while those bound for Asian markets rose 23.3 percent to 28,601 units, up for the 14th straight month.

But exports to Europe decreased 13.9 percent to 79,037 units due to the appreciation of the yen, association officials said.

Shipments of cars with engine displacements of more than 2,000cc increased 3.9 percent to 162,478 units, while those of small cars with engine displacements of 2,000cc or less dropped 4.8 percent to 106,481 units.

Although Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. increased exports by more than 5 percent, Mazda Motor Corp.’s exports dropped 25.1 percent to 29,278 units.

MMC to merge units

NEW YORK (Kyodo) Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will integrate its production and sales firms in North America by the end of this year, the automaker announced Tuesday.

At the same time, Mitsubishi Motors America Inc., the parent firm’s market research and information gathering unit, will oversee both the production and sales activities in North America, hitherto supervised by the Tokyo headquarters.

Mitsubishi Motors America, which is located in Southfield, Mich., will be relocated to Cypress, Calif., it said.

With the reorganization, Mitsubishi Motors said it aims to speed up the decision-making process and streamline operations.