TOKYO - Hit by slackening demand from the U.S. market that outweighed gains in Europe and Asia, Japan's new-vehicle exports in June dipped 1.0 percent from a year ago to just under 390,000.
With the 2.3 percent drop in U.S. exports in June, the second consecutive monthly decline from a year earlier, shipments to the United States are down 7.9 percent for the six months.
Exports to Europe surged 6.3 percent in June, while Asia-bound shipments jumped 13.1 percent.
Production, buoyed by inventory stocking ahead of the August shutdown, rose 3.9 percent in June, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association says.
Mazda exports to North America surged 43.8 percent in June. Toyota's North America-bound shipments rose 3.6 percent on strong demand from Canada for its RX 330 SUV and a hatchback version of the Echo compact.
Nissan cut its shipments to North America by 5.4 percent as it began production of the Maxima at the Smyrna, Tenn., plant in March, stopping the export of the model from Japan to that region.
At Honda, shipments to North America declined 1.7 percent. Honda increased exports of the CR-V from England to the United States, reducing shipments of the Japan-made SUV to that country.
In exports to Europe, three of the four major automakers posted double-digit gains.
The biggest gainer was Nissan, which reported a 50.6 percent leap partly on brisk demand for its X-Trail SUV.
Honda's shipments to that region shot up by 16.0 percent, shifting to the Japan-made Accord from local production of the predecessor for sale in Europe.
The well-received RAV4 SUV and the Corolla helped to give Toyota a 12.7 percent rise.
But Mazda's exports to Europe dropped by 10.0 percent, weighed down by reaction to strong sales of the Mazda6 a year earlier.
Meanwhile, June production expanded 6.7 percent at Toyota, 13.0 percent at Nissan and 1.8 percent at Mazda.
Mitsubishi reported a 1.8 percent rise, adjusted for the first time for the spinoff of its Fuso truck division.
Honda curbed its output by 15.8 percent in response to sluggish Japanese sales, which declined in June for the ninth straight month.
By type, truck production climbed 16.1 percent in June partly to meet growing demand for greener trucks before the introduction in October of strict emission regulations. Output of passenger cars rose 2.0 percent.