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Domestic vehicle production fell 41.0 percent to 576,539 units in January, marking the steepest year-on-year fall since comparable data became available in 1967.

The record, which also marked the fourth straight month of decline, was reached after automakers substantially scaled back production as the global economic deceleration choked demand, an industry body said Friday.

Vehicle exports in January plunged 59.1 percent to 233,859 units, also the steepest fall since comparable data became available in 1973, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said.

By category, car production sank 41.2 percent to 494,843 units, and truck output dropped 40.6 percent to 73,458 units, the association said. Bus production fell 26.6 percent to 8,238 units.

By brand, output fell 40.3 percent to 209,224 units at Toyota Motor Corp., 23.0 percent to 77,224 units Honda Motor Co., and 59.0 percent to 47,477 units at Nissan Motor Co.

Of total exports, cars plunged 60.9 percent to 200,347 units, while trucks fell 49.4 percent to 24,382 units.

Exports to all major destinations declined substantially in the reporting month, with those to North America dropping 71.8 percent to 60,524 units, those to Europe declining 63.2 percent to 50,864 units, and those to other parts of Asia falling 54.8 percent to 18,021 units.

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