TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese bought a record 2.5 million vehicles in the first six months of the year, a 16.9 percent increase from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Tuesday.

Association official Hisashi Kawagishi the increase reflected steady consumer spending and strong sales campaigns.

The previous record of 2.1 million vehicles was set in January-June 1979, Kawagishi said.

Kawagishi said sales, excluding minicars and minitrucks, totaled 1.79 million passenger cars, up 16.0 percent; 695,723 trucks, up 19.8 percent; and 13,079 buses, up 5.2 percent.

By company, Toyota Motor Corp. sold 1.1 million cars, up 16.1 percent from a year earlier; Nissan Motor Co. sold 581,243 cars, up 13.6 percent; Honda Motor sold 199,446 cars, up 28.6 percent; Mazda sold 187,381 cars, up 13.2 percent; and Mitsubishi Motor sold 177,928 cars, up 29.4 percent, Kawagishi said.