Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. boosted production in October on rising overseas demand.
Toyota increased global production 16 percent to 821,003 vehicles in October, while Honda’s output rose 13 percent to 363,532 vehicles, the companies said in separate statements Tuesday. Nissan said it raised production 16 percent to 341,036 vehicles.
Japanese automakers have boosted production of fuel-efficient cars as crude oil prices approach $100 a barrel, turning U.S. drivers away from large sport utility vehicles. Economic growth in China and other emerging markets is also boosting sales.
“Surging demand in emerging markets such as the Middle East and Russia more than offset the difficult market situations in Japan and the U.S.,” said Yasuaki Iwamoto, an auto analyst at Okasan Securities Co. in Tokyo.
Toyota, excluding affiliates Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd., raised overseas production by 19 percent to 409,174 vehicles. Domestic output rose 13 percent to 411,829 vehicles.
The automaker will open a factory in Russia in December to make Camry sedans and raise sales in a country where average wages have increased at an annual pace of more than 6 percent every month since January 2005.
Honda’s overseas output rose 21 percent on higher demand for the CR-V sport utility vehicle and the Civic and Accord sedans.
Demand for cars won’t be hurt by the slump in the U.S. housing market, though motorcycle sales, tied to leisure spending, will likely be affected, Honda Executive Vice President Koichi Kondo said Oct. 25.
Nissan’s October overseas production rose 19 percent and domestic output gained 11 percent. Nissan will also open a factory in Russia near St. Petersburg in 2009.
Suzuki Motor Corp., Japan’s second-largest minicar maker, raised production 16 percent to 237,681 vehicles.