Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. increased global auto production in March as demand rose in Asia and the U.S.
Toyota’s output surged 97 percent to 773,297 vehicles from 392,882 a year earlier, the company said Monday. Honda increased production 62 percent to 349,425 vehicles and Nissan boosted output 85 percent to 318,827, the companies said separately.
The automakers built more vehicles as demand recovered in the U.S. and Japan and continued climbing in China, the world’s biggest auto market. A year ago, carmakers scaled back output, temporarily halting production lines to reduce inventory amid a recession.
Toyota’s global output for the year that ended March 31 rose 0.7 percent to 8.2 million vehicles from a year earlier, while Honda’s production fell 7.5 percent to 3.3 million and Nissan’s gained 7.8 percent to 3.1 million.
Auto sales in the U.S. rose for the fifth straight month in March. Toyota’s deliveries there jumped 41 percent from a year earlier to 186,863 as the carmaker offered no-interest loans and discount leases to win back buyers after recalling more than 8 million vehicles worldwide.
The company raised U.S. production 138 percent in March to 107,227 vehicles. Toyota’s output in Japan increased 115 percent to 347,281 and exports rose 103 percent to 161,831.
Toyota also boosted March production in China, by 135 percent to 79,757 vehicles. Industrywide sales of passenger cars, trucks and buses in that country rose 63 percent from a year earlier to 1.26 million vehicles.
Toyota’s full-year sales in China may exceed an 800,000-unit target, Masahiro Kato, president of the company’s China business, said at the Beijing Auto Show on Friday.
Honda’s U.S. production increased 108 percent in March to 93,617 vehicles. Honda increased output in China 36 percent to 65,283.
Nissan increased production in March by 61 percent in Japan to 99,903 vehicles, including a 90 percent rise in exports. Its output in China rose 64 percent to 62,574, while U.S. production increased 94 percent to 62,574.
Smaller carmakers Mazda Motor Corp., Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and Suzuki Motor Corp. also reported increases in March. Mazda’s global production rose 111 percent to 121,161 vehicles while Fuji Heavy, owner of the Subaru brand, raised output 79 percent. Suzuki posted a 24 percent gain to 258,987.
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