• The Associated Press


Japan’s biggest automakers posted major production and sales gains in April, as robust growth in China and elsewhere in Asia continued to fuel demand.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest car manufacturer, said Friday it made 591,109 cars, trucks and buses during the month, up 61.5 percent from a year earlier.

Its exports jumped 122 percent and domestic sales rose 50 percent.

Toyota’s results indicate its vehicles remain popular despite massive global recalls that have hurt its reputation for quality. Along with advances in Asia, its decision to offer unprecedented sales incentives is paying off in North America.

Meanwhile, global production and sales at Nissan Motor Co. hit record highs for the company. Total output rose 57 percent from a year earlier to 319,673 units. Sales expanded 32 percent to 307,010 units.

Nissan said it made a record 91,798 cars in China in April.

Nissan’s vehicle exports jumped 70 percent during the month, with shipments to North America up more than 80 percent. The company credited brisk demand for the Murano and Rogue, both crossover SUVs.

Domestic sales of cars and minivehicles rose 10 percent, and exports jumped 66 percent.

Smaller rivals Mazda Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. also enjoyed a strong April. Global production at Mazda rose 51 percent to 95,836 units, while output at MMC surged almost 73 percent to 79,948 vehicles.

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