• Kyodo News

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Vehicle production in 2010 jumped 21.3 percent to 9,625,940 units compared with the previous year, logging its first rise in three years, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said Monday.

By vehicle type, car output rose 21.1 percent to 8,307,382 units, up for the first time in three years, while truck output grew 22.8 percent to 1,209,224 units, posting the first rise in seven years.

Bus production shot up 26.0 percent to 109,334 units, climbing for the first time in two years.

Auto exports last year surged 33.8 percent to 4,838,356 units for the first rise in two years, with cars growing 33.1 percent to 4,272,256 units, trucks surging 42.7 percent to 450,288 units and bus exports rising 25.9 percent to 115,812 units.

In December alone, however, auto production fell 5.1 percent from a year earlier to 747,947 units for the third consecutive month of decline.

Auto exports in the same month rose 16.7 percent to 467,590 units for the 12th consecutive monthly rise.

Yen hits Honda profit AP Honda Motor Co. on Monday reported a nearly 40 percent drop in quarterly profit after being hit by the strong yen and fading sales in Japan, but raised its full-year earnings forecast on the strength of cost cuts.

Honda’s October-December profit totaled ¥81.1 billion, down from ¥134.6 billion the year before, it said Monday. Quarterly sales slipped nearly 6 percent to ¥2.11 trillion.

A strong yen hurt Tokyo-based Honda’s overseas earnings and the end of “green car” incentives crimped vehicle sales in Japan, offsetting the perk from strong motorcycle sales in Asia.

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