Toyota Closing In On GM As World 's Biggest Car Producer

Toyota reports 25th consecutive month of growth in November with global production of 736, 003 vehicles.

TOKYO (AP) – Toyota Motor Corp. on Monday reported its 25th straight month of growth in worldwide production as it closed in on General Motors' position as the world's biggest vehicle maker.

However, Toyota's main Japanese rival, Nissan Motor Co., said it produced fewer cars in November than a year earlier.

Toyota said its global production totaled 736,003 vehicles in November, up 12.3 percent from the same month last year. Overseas production climbed 10.5 percent to 350,300, while domestic output rose 14.1 percent to 385,703.

Rising oil prices have prompted drivers to favor fuel-efficient cars, including the Prius hybrid, Corolla compact and the midsize Camry, the best-selling model in the U.S. market for eight of the last nine years.

Last week, Toyota executives in Japan laid out a production target of 9.42 million vehicles for next year, a 4 percent increase over the 9.04 million vehicles it expects to produce this year and more than the 9.2 million that GM is estimated to have produced this year.

Nissan, Japan's No. 2 automaker, said its global production fell 1.1 percent to 291,737 vehicles in November from a year earlier.

Nissan, which has an alliance with Renault SA of France, reported production in Japan during the month edged down 4.9 percent to 106,163, while overseas production inched up 1.3 percent to 185,574 vehicles.

Honda Motor Co. said its worldwide production jumped 10.6 percent to 328,792 vehicles in November, its 16th consecutive month of on-year growth. Honda's domestic production rose 15.0 percent to 126,534, while overseas output climbed 8.1 percent to 202,258 vehicles.

Global production at Mazda Motor Corp. rose 1.0 percent to 112,582 vehicles in November, with domestic production rising 3.5 percent to 85,754 and overseas output dropping 6.6 percent to 26,828.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said its global production fell 3.3 percent to 118,726 in November. Its domestic production rose 13.2 percent to 71,685, while its overseas output plunged 20.9 percent to 47,041.