• Kyodo

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Vehicle production dropped 0.5 percent in October to 813,110 units from a year ago, as demand for minivehicles remained sluggish amid the lingering effects of tax hikes, data by an industry body showed Monday.

Although auto output has logged 16 consecutive months of decline, exports rose 3.8 percent year-on-year to 416,472 units, up for the second month, as Europe-bound vehicles gained sharply, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said.

Output of passenger vehicles rose 0.9 percent from the previous year to 689,929 units, but truck production dropped 7.0 percent to 111,492 units. Bus production slid 11.6 percent to 11,689 units.

Consumers have been holding off on buying new minivehicles with engine displacement up to 660cc, due to the first stage of the consumption tax hike in 2014 and the increase in the ownership tax in the car category in April.

Among cars, minicar production saw a 16.4 percent drop to 122,052 units.

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