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Auto Production Falls in Japan

April 25, 2002

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TOKYO (AP) _ Production of cars, trucks and buses in Japan fell in March, reflecting sluggish domestic demand for consumer goods, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said Thursday.

Domestic production totaled 954,500 vehicles in March, 5,760 fewer than the same month a year earlier, the group said.

Slow sales at home have caused domestic automobile production to fall in recent months, but increased exports, especially to North America, have helped minimize the declines.

Production for the domestic market plummeted 7.2 percent to 771,675 vehicles in March following a 3.6 percent drop in February.

However, the association estimated vehicle exports rose 5 percent in March.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, output fell 2.4 percent to 9.8 million vehicles, the first decline in two years.

Of that, more than half, or 5.8 million vehicles, were made for the Japanese market, a decline of 2.6 percent from the previous fiscal year.

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