Four of Japan’s five major automakers hiked overseas output in August from a year earlier, with Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. booking double-digit growth, according to data released Wednesday.
Toyota bolstered overseas production by 14 percent to 171,934 units, Nissan 30.8 percent to 114,593 units, a record for the month, and Mitsubishi 18.9 percent to 84,215 units.
Honda Motor Co. raised overseas output by 8.9 percent to 128,704 units, but Mazda Motor Corp. cut overseas production by 19.9 percent to 8,334 units.
Mazda limited overseas output of existing models as it is making preparations to kick off U.S. production of the new Atenza in October, Mazda officials said.
Nissan was the only automaker to report increases in production, sales and exports.
Sales by Nissan rose 16.7 percent to 47,845 units, but it lost its No. 2 status in terms of domestic share to Honda after regaining the status in July for the first time in 16 months.
Sales by Honda rose 1.8 percent to 57,372 units. Sales by both Nissan and Honda included those of minivehicles.
Sales fell 2.3 percent to 104,435 units at Toyota, down for the 12th straight month, and 11.6 percent to 23,867 units at Mitsubishi. Mazda eked out a 2.6 percent sales gain to 20,577 units.
In the exports arena, three automakers curbed exports in tandem with growing overseas production. Toyota cut exports 3.1 percent to 127,380 units, Mazda reduced exports 16.4 percent to 35,826 units and Honda trimmed exports 0.9 percent to 35,776 units for the first fall in nine months.
But exports grew 22.2 percent to 53,346 units at Nissan, up for the seventh straight month, and 27.1 percent to 35,560 units at Mitsubishi.
In domestic production, four of the five increased output. Toyota was the only exception, cutting back output by 2.1 percent to 241,602 units.
Domestic output rose 10.5 percent to 99,058 units at Nissan thanks to the restyled Fairlady Z and March cars. Output rose 13 percent to 101,326 at Honda, 3.3 percent to 59,628 units at Mazda, and 12.2 percent to 62,973 units at Mitsubishi.
Prius cracks 100,000
Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday global sales of its Prius hybrid car topped 100,000 units in August.
The first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle to be mass-produced debuted in December 1997 and has been sold in more than 20 countries and territories.
By the end of August, cumulative domestic sales totaled 61,199 units, while those outside Japan came to 39,009.
Full Stream ahead
Honda Motor Co. said Wednesday its unit in Thailand has started to import and sell the Stream minivan produced in Indonesia.
Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co. is marketing the Stream at 1.26 million baht ($29,037) and has an annual sales target of 4,000 units.
Honda’s joint venture in Indonesia, P.T. Honda Prospect Motor, started producing the Stream in January.
The minivan is already sold in the Indonesian market.
Meanwhile, Honda’s Thailand unit started exporting the Accord to P.T. Honda Prospect earlier this month, with annual sales expected to hit around 2,000 units.
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