TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Output of cars, trucks and buses in Japan in August fell 10.9 percent from a year earlier to 769,829 vehicles for the first decline in 13 months due to sluggish demand amid soaring fuel prices and declining exports to the United States and Europe hit by the economic slowdown, an industry body said Tuesday.
The fall also followed strong output in August last year when automakers boosted output after a supply shortage of key components due to a strong earthquake in Niigata Prefecture the previous month forced them to temporarily suspend production, an official of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said.
Production of passenger cars slumped 10.7 percent to 653,485 vehicles, falling for the first time in 13 months, while that of trucks came to 106,911 units, down 14.1 percent for the first drop in eight months, according to the association.
However, bus production jumped 17.5 percent to 9,433 units, extending the rising streak to 43 months.
Exports by Japanese automakers dropped 2.2 percent to 496,735 units in the reporting month for the first decline in 37 months, the association said.
By region, shipments bound for the United States plunged 20.8 percent and those for the European Union dropped 9.3 percent. But exports to the Middle East jumped 16.7 percent and those to other Asian countries grew 8.7 percent.
Passenger car exports totaled 430,691 vehicles, down 4.0 percent.
But truck exports rose 6.7 percent to 54,363 vehicles, while bus exports rose 39.3 percent to 11,681 units.