Despite a shrinking domestic market, Japan’s five major carmakers all increased global vehicle production in 2002, thanks to strong demand in North America, Europe and Asia, according to data released by the firms Monday.

Toyota Motor Corp. turned out 5.64 million cars and commercial vehicles worldwide in 2002, up 9.7 percent from the previous year. Its domestic output rose 3.9 percent to 3.49 million units, the first year-on-year increase in two years.

Overseas production leaped 20.8 percent to 2.15 million units, up for the 11th straight year. The company attributed the surge to gains at plants in Europe and China.

Honda Motor Co.’s global output hit 2.9 million units in 2002, up 9.4 percent from 2001. Its domestic output rose 7.9 percent to 1.39 million units, up for the third straight year, while overseas production leaped 10.8 percent to 1.51 million units, up for the sixth consecutive year.

Nissan Motor Co. boosted worldwide production to 2.69 million units in 2002, up 8.1 percent from 2001, thanks to increased sales at home and overseas.

Its domestic output rose 9.6 percent to 1.39 million units, the first increase in five years, while reporting record overseas production of 1.3 million units, up 6.5 percent.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp.’s global output rose 9.3 percent to 1.82 million units, with domestic output up 4.4 percent to 871,304, and overseas production up 14.1 percent to 951,340.

Mazda Motor Corp. saw a worldwide production increase, rolling out 943,338 units, up 8.6 percent. Domestic output rose 6.1 percent to 773,798 units, the first yearly rise in five years, while overseas production jumped 21.6 percent to 169,540.

Sales results on the domestic front were mixed, however.

Nissan’s sales in Japan jumped to 773,743 units in 2002, up 5.8 percent from the previous year, due to hit models, including the new March, and the firm’s entry into the minicar market.

Honda’s sales rose 4.6 percent to 902,658 units, up for the fourth consecutive year, as its Fit compact became the best selling model in the country.

Other carmakers suffered sales drops at home due to a shrinking market. MMC’s sales fell 14.7 percent to 416,375 units. Mazda’s sales fell by 6.5 percent to 262,988 units and Toyota’s domestic sales dropped 2 percent to 1.68 million.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.