TOKYO (Kyodo) — Output of passenger cars, trucks and buses in Japan rose 1.0 percent in 2007 from the year before to 11,596,327 units, as greater exports outweighed the effects of falling domestic sales, an industry body said Wednesday.
The 2007 output, marking an increase for a sixth consecutive year, compared with the previous year's 11,484,233 units, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Although domestic sales fell 6.7 percent to 5,353,645 units in the year, exports surged 9.8 percent to 6,550,173 units, softening the impact of slumping domestic demand on the automobile industry, JAMA said.
In 2007, passenger car output rose 1.9 percent to 9,944,637 units, posting a gain for the fourth straight year. Truck output fell 6.3 percent to 1,538,020 units, down for a fourth consecutive year, whereas production of buses surged 28.2 percent to 113,670 units, representing a third straight yearly increase.
Of total domestic output in 2007, 56.5 percent was for export, up from the previous year's 52.0 percent.
By region, exports to North America, the biggest market for Japanese automobiles, slipped 1.3 percent to 2,455,098 units, of which 2,215,451 units were shipped to the United States, down 2.0 percent.
But exports to Europe, the second-biggest destination for Japanese automobiles, soared 14.7 percent to 1,497,800 units, JAMA said.
Exports to the Middle East surged 37.5 percent to 811,887 units, whereas exports to Asia rose 15.6 percent to 440,920 units.
In December alone, vehicle production rose 1.5 percent from a year earlier to 969,457 units, due to a 1.6 percent rise in the production of passenger cars to 835,579 units and a 40.7 percent increase in bus output to 10,537 units.
Truck production dropped 1.3 percent to 123,341 units in the month.
Exports increased 15.3 percent to 635,753 units in the reporting month, up for the 29th consecutive month, with those of passenger cars, trucks and buses all posting increases.