TOKYO -- The top three Japanese automakers boosted exports to North America in June.
Nissan Motor Co. posted a 23.8 percent surge compared with June 2003, driven by robust demand for the Murano SUV and Infiniti G35.
Toyota Motor Corp.'s exports to North America climbed 6.3 percent thanks to the launch of the Scion tC coupe. The Lexus LX 430 and ES 300 also helped Toyota.
Honda Motor Co. reported a 4.6 percent rise in shipments bound for North America, cashing in on the well-received Honda CR-V and Acura TSX.
Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s difficulties continued. The company, which will cut U.S. production by laying off about 1,200 out of 3,150 workers at the Normal, Ill., plant, saw its North American exports drop by 43.0 percent, the sixth straight month of year-on-year decline.
Mazda Motor Corp.'s exports to North America slid 27.1 percent, in part because RX-8 exports were down from a strong June in 2003.
Japan's total new-vehicle exports in June rose 7.9 percent from a year earlier to 420,092, because of healthy demand from the United States and Europe.
U.S.-bound shipments from all Japanese auto manufacturers in June rose 2.0 percent from the same month in 2003, to 138,553. Exports to Europe jumped 10.2 percent to 107,753. Shipments to Asia also showed a modest rise of 1.1 percent from June 2003, to 48,642.
Mazda posted a 40.9 percent surge in exports bound for Europe, helped by the Mazda6 and Mazda3. Toyota gained 4.4 percent from 2003, aided by strong demand for the Prius. Exports to Europe declined 1.2 percent at Nissan and 8.2 percent at Honda.
The launch of the Grandis minivan in April helped Mitsubishi post a 17.6 percent rise in exports to Europe in June.
Japan's production in June was 935,302 units, up 6.9 percent from a year earlier. Output rose 11.2 percent at Toyota, 3.0 percent at Nissan, 9.9 percent at Honda and 11.3 percent at Mazda. Mitsubishi cut production by 6.9 percent.