Japan's Aug. output rises

Shifting markets
Japan's exports in August for selected companies and destinations, shown as percentage change from a year earlier
Toyota 15.1 -18.9 1.2
Nissan 5.7 -29.6 -3.4
Honda 0.2 15.7 4.4
Mazda 10.5 209.2 46.4
Mitsubishi 15.9 -70.9 -17.7
Source: Company data

TOKYO - Japan's vehicle production in August edged up 1.7 percent, the first increase in eight months, as exports and domestic sales expanded.

Output for the month increased to 706,613 with the help of a 2 percent rise in exports, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Sales, reported earlier, grew 1.6 percent in August.

Production rose 6.6 percent at Toyota Motor Corp. and 1.3 percent at Nissan Motor Co. Mazda Motor Corp. output jumped 7.2 percent on its brisk exports to the United States and Europe.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s output dropped by 12.7 percent, the ninth consecutive month of decline, dragged down by both weaker exports and sales in Japan.

Honda Motor Co.'s output contracted 2.4 percent, the first drop in nine months, as typhoons halted operations temporarily at its plants in Japan. But its exports rose.

Toyota exports edged up 1.2 percent in August, while Honda rose 4.4 percent. Mazda surged 46.4 percent, reflecting strong European demand. Exports by Nissan fell 3.4 percent, while Mitsubishi tumbled 17.7 percent, partly because of a trade tiff between Japan and China.

By region, exports to the United States rose 7.1 percent, the second straight month of gain.

But a further gain there may be questionable, given a shaky outlook for the U.S. market after the country was attacked by terrorists in September.

Japan's Europe-bound shipments slumped 13.6 percent, while exports to Asia plunged 15.7 percent, the third consecutive month of decline.

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