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Vehicle Production Up at Honda

January 24, 2002

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TOKYO (AP) _ Honda Motor Co.’s domestic production and exports rose in December, while domestic auto output dropped at the other Japanese carmakers, the companies said Thursday.

Honda’s exports to North America rose 18.5 percent in December to 25,491 vehicles from a year ago on the popularity of the CRV sport utility vehicle. Domestic auto production rose 5.1 percent from the same month a year ago to 111,544 vehicles. Overall exports rose 0.5 percent to 35,563 vehicles.

But domestic production at Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s leading automaker, dropped 12.5 percent in December to 228,208 vehicles, marking the third consecutive monthly decline.

Toyota said the weak Japanese economy and the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the United States pushed down sales both at home and abroad. Toyota’s domestic sales in the month declined 4.1 percent to 122,132 vehicles, while exports slipped 10 percent at 136,481 vehicles.

Production in Japan at Nissan Motor Co. slid 10.5 percent to 93,887 vehicles in December compared to the same month a year ago, as production of small cars dropped ahead of the sales of the remodeled March subcompact in February.

Nissan’s exports increased 2 percent to 49,113 due to the strong demand in the Middle East for a new pickup truck. Nissan is 36.8 percent owned by Renault SA of France, which is raising its stake to 44.4 percent.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp.’s domestic output fell 17.5 percent to 62,631 vehicles in December, the 13th straight monthly decline. Mitsubishi Motors is 37.3 percent owned by DaimlerChrysler AG of Germany.

Mazda Motor Corp., 33.4 percent owned by U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co., said it made 54,939 vehicles in Japan in December, down 8.7 percent from a year ago. Its exports dropped 12.4 percent to 34,134.

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