• Kyodo

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Sales of new Japanese passenger cars in 18 European countries totaled 1.91 million units in 2004, up 5.8 percent from the previous year and hitting a record for the second straight year, an industry body said Friday.

The market share of Japanese cars also set a record of 13.2 percent last year, up from the previous record of 12.7 percent registered in 2003, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said.

Japanese vehicles with diesel engines were popular among European customers, the association said.

Sales of Toyota and Lexus cars grew 7.1 percent to 725,687 units. Sales of Mazda vehicles increased 18.7 percent to 245,948 units and Honda cars rose 13.1 percent to 217,216 units.

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