Japan's leading automakers said Thursday their production continued to fall in May, reflecting sluggish domestic demand and declining exports to Asia.
Toyota Motor Corp. said domestic production in May fell 20.4 percent from a year earlier to 223,602 vehicles as exports decreased 3.7 percent to 115,877. Exports of passenger cars rose 2.3 percent, but exports of trucks and buses plunged 23.2 percent.Nissan Motor Co. said domestic output tumbled 22.8 percent to 108,443, while exports declined 10.7 percent to 46,573. The automaker said exports were hurt by inventory adjustments in North America. While exports of Nis-san's passenger cars tumbled 12.4 percent, exports of its commercial vehicles increased 0.4 percent, helped by strong demand for its recreational vehicle models in Europe and the Middle East.
Honda Motor Co.'s output dropped 15.3 percent to 89,591, and its exports dropped 4.8 percent to 40,331. Exports fell for the first time since August 1996, hurt mainly by a 63 percent plunge in Asia-bound shipments, said Takeshi Sumita, a Honda spokesman.
Separately, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said that its May domestic production fell 20 percent from a year earlier to 75,210 vehicles as domestic sales dropped 13.4 percent to 35,691. Exports, however, rose 4.1 percent to 38,256, helped by growing shipments of passenger cars to Europe, in particular. Overall passenger car exports rose 9.3 percent, but commercial exports dropped 6.3 percent. Exports climbed for the first time since March.
Mitsubishi's overseas output shrank 27.6 percent to 116,431.
Mazda Motor Corp. said its May domestic production fell 22.4 percent from a year earlier to 58,251 vehicles as exports edged down 1.6 percent to 40,241. Mazda's domestic sales declined 2.1 percent to 23,061.