From Toyota To GM -- The Ups And Downs Of Global Production For September

The UK, Nissan, Mitsubishi see production fall; Toyota, Honda see increase.

According to the Office of National Statistics, auto production in the United Kingdom was down 18.4 percent in September compared to the same month last year. However, commercial vehicle production rose 9 percent.

The UK produced 122,301 passenger cars and 21,431 commercial vehicles in September, versus 149,880 and 19,659, respectively, for September 2005.

Total commercial vehicle production for the three months up to September was up 8.4 percent from the previous three months, but down 1.7 percent compared to the same three months last year.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s global production rose 3.8 percent in September, putting the company on track to overtake General Motors as the world’s biggest automaker. It was the company’s 23rd consecutive monthly advance.

Toyota’s total output last month came to 696,594 vehicles, the company reported Tuesday. Overseas production climbed 2.8 percent to 340,945 units, while domestic output rose 4.7 percent to 355,649 vehicles.

The Japanese automaker has said it will boost global sales to 9.8 million vehicles in 2008 – even as its troubled U.S. rivals are closing plants. Toyota did not release an output target.

GM in 2005 sold 9.2 million vehicles globally and produced 9.05 million vehicles. Toyota surpassed Ford Motor Co. in terms of vehicle sales in 2003.

Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s second-largest automaker, said its global vehicle production feel for a ninth month in September, dropping 12.5 percent to 274,788 vehicles.

Tokyo-based Nissan said its output in the U.S. fell 18.9 percent last month from a year ago to 60,6000 units, largely due to the changeover of the new 2007 Altima model.

Honda Motor Co.’s global production rose 5.0 percent to 318,946 vehicles, in its 14th monthly rise. Overseas production climbed 6.6 percent to 199,932 units, boosted by an all-time monthly record in both North America and the rest of Asia.

Domestic production at Honda rose 2.3 percent to 119,014 vehicles.

Mazda Motor Corp. reported its worldwide output posted a 1 percent gain to 106,332 units. Its overseas production rose 1.2 percent to 21,420 vehicles on increased production of the Mazda6 and Premacy models, including a strong demand in China.

Mazda, which is 33 percent owned by Ford, said its production in Japan rose 1 percent to 84,912 units
– the 11th straight month of higher domestic production.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp said worldwide output fell 15.4 percent to 106,666 vehicles. Its domestic production slipped 5.4 percent to 62,812 units while overseas output fell 26.5 percent to 43,854.

Associated Press writer Kozo Mizoguchi contributed to this article.