TOKYO -- Buoyed by strong demand from North America, Japan's new-vehicle exports in April jumped 11 percent from a year earlier, the fourth consecutive monthly increase.
The rise, to 390,524, was led by a 6 percent increase in U.S.-bound shipments and a 62.4 percent surge in exports to Canada, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. It was the fourth straight month shipments to the United States increased.
South America was the only region to which exports declined.
The robust exports helped expand Japan's overall production in April by 2.7 percent to 777,497, more than offsetting earlier-reported weaker sales in the Japanese market.
Three of Japan's five major automakers boosted their shipments to North America in April. Among the three, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. posted the biggest increase, 39.9 percent, reflecting robust shipments of the redesigned Lancer sedan.
Toyota Motor Corp.'s North American exports rose 17.4 percent, propped up by strong sales of the ES 300 sedan and Highlander sport-utility. Honda Motor Co.'s exports to North America rose 8.6 percent thanks to the CR-V.
In contrast, Nissan Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. reported lower exports to North America.
Exports to Europe expanded 5.1 percent, with three of the Big 5 gaining. Nissan's exports to the region rose for a third consecutive month, surging 68.9 percent, supported by the X-Trail sport-utility. The RAV4 and Corolla wagon boosted Toyota's Europe-bound shipments by 18 percent, while Mazda exports rose 4.6 percent because of the Mazda 6, introduced in March.
Honda's exports to Europe tumbled 24.6 percent, weighed down by weaker shipments of the HR-V sport-utility and Stream minivan, while Mitsubishi's slipped 1.1 percent.
Four of the five major automakers increased output in April, although Toyota, up only 0.1 percent, was essentially unchanged. Nissan was up 11.2 percent; Honda, 8.4 percent; and Mitsubishi, by 7 percent. Mazda production eased 1.8 percent.
By type of vehicles, production of cars rose 5.3 percent, while output of trucks slid 10.2 percent.