TOKYO (AP) — Japan's top automaker Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday its global production climbed 14.4 percent in October, moving it closer to overtaking General Motors of the U.S. as the world's biggest automaker.
Four other major Japanese automakers also reported overall production gains for the month.
Toyota said its worldwide production rose to 905,264 vehicles in October, while its domestic output rose 11 percent to 491,902 units.
Toyota's global sales totaled 7.05 million vehicles in the first nine months of this year, short of 7.06 million vehicles sold by Detroit-based General Motors Corp. for the same period, according to official figures from the companies.
Analysts say it's only a matter of time before Toyota overtakes GM as the world's biggest automaker. Amid rising gas prices, fuel-efficient models from Toyota and other Japanese automakers are gaining in popularity globally.
Honda Motor Co. set a company record for monthly production in October, with worldwide output rising 12.5 percent to 363,532 from the same month last year. That performance came as production outside of Japan rose 21.3 percent to 242,947 vehicles, while domestic production fell 1.8 percent to 120,585.
Honda, Japan's second-largest automaker, posted monthly output records in North America, up 9.6 percent to 134,428 vehicles, and in China, up 23.3 percent to 40,886 units.
Nissan Motor Co., Japan's third-largest automaker, said its global production surged 16.3 percent to 341,036 vehicles.
Nissan, 44 percent owned by Renault SA of France, reported a 19.1 percent rise in overseas output to 228,338 units. In the U.S., Nissan's production rose 3.8 percent to 75,313 vehicles, boosted by an increase in production of the Altima model.
Nissan's domestic output grew 10.9 percent to 112,698 units, with rises in the output of the Infiniti G35 sedan, G37 coupe and new Rogue models.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said its global production rose 14.8 percent to 124,136 vehicles. Overseas output rose 23 percent, and domestic production climbed 10.1 percent, it said.
At Hiroshima-based Mazda Motor Corp., global production climbed 7.6 percent to 118,769 vehicles. A 10.9 percent rise in domestic output offset a 3.1 percent decline in overseas output.
Mazda, an affiliate of Ford Motor Co. of the U.S., said its overseas production totaled 25,467 vehicles, with popular models including the Mazda6, BT-50 and Mazda3.