Three of the nation’s five top automakers increased domestic sales in the first half of fiscal 2004, but scandal-hit Mitsubishi Motors Corp. suffered a record decline, according to data released by the five companies Tuesday.

MMC’s domestic sales plunged 43.7 percent in the April-September period from a year earlier to 95,876 vehicles, a record in terms of percentage of decline and volume for any half year since the company was founded in 1970.

Honda Motor Co. registered a sales rise of 6.2 percent, Toyota Motor Corp. a gain of 0.8 percent and Mazda Motor Corp. an increase of 0.7 percent. But Nissan Motor Co.’s sales fell 4.9 percent due to sluggish sales of its March subcompact car and Teana luxury sedan.

Mazda, which had been ranked fifth in domestic sales since it started releasing the data in 1980, took the fourth spot for the first time by topping MMC’s sales by about 40,000 vehicles.

All five automakers reported gains in exports.

On the production front, overseas output increased 15.6 percent at Toyota, 9.3 percent at Honda, 15.1 percent at Nissan and 30.9 percent at Mazda, reflecting their shift of production abroad.

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