Nissan Motor Co. has expanded production capacity of its new March car by about 20 percent to 17,500 units a month to meet demand, a Nissan spokesperson said Wednesday.

The automaker has boosted capacity by changing work schedules at its plant in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, such as extending each of the two 8 1/2-hour work shifts per day to 10 1/2 hours.

Since its debut in March, the March subcompact has attracted strong demand, especially from young women, with cumulative sales reaching about 60,000 units.

It is the first Nissan car to share its chassis with French automaker Renault S.A., the biggest shareholder in Nissan.

Atenza output upped

Mazda Motor Corp. said Wednesday it has received a surplus of orders for its Atenza and has increased production to meet demand.

The Atenza is known as the Mazda6 on the global market.

Mazda began accepting domestic orders for the sport and sedan models May 20, and as of Monday it had received orders for 6,000, six times the combined monthly sales target for each type.

Orders for the sport wagon model, which became available June 24, have already reached 1,500 units, meaning the monthly sales target of 1,500 was reached in seven days, it said.

In the European market, where the vehicles were introduced in early June, orders have reached 30,000 units, with particularly brisk sales in Germany and Britain.

In response to the strong demand, Mazda has increased monthly output of the vehicle from 10,000 to 14,500 at its Hofu plant in Yamaguchi Prefecture, it said.

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