TOKYO (AP) _ Production of cars, trucks and buses rose 11.1 percent in April from a year earlier, the third consecutive monthly increase, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers' Association said Thursday.

The latest production increase followed a 0.5 percent gain in February and 5.3 percent in March, the association said.

The rise to production of 791,107 vehicles in April reflects an increase in exports, mainly to the United States, said association spokeswoman Emiko Shoji.

The association estimated Japan's vehicle exports in April rose 20 percent on year. Complete export figures will be released later this month.

Passenger car production in April rose by 12.6 percent to 657,482 vehicles, truck production was up 4 percent to 129,201, and the number of buses manufactured increased 21.1 percent to 4,424.

Domestic vehicle sales in April totaled 408,910, down 1.3 percent from a year earlier, the association said.