TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Domestic production by Japanese automakers in fiscal 2007 ended in March and rose 2.5 percent from the previous year to a 15-year high of 11,790,059 vehicles, the sixth straight year of growth, on strong export demand and the buoyant effect of new product rollouts, an industry group said Wednesday.
Exports jumped 10.4 percent to 6,769,851 units, also extending the rising streak to a sixth year, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Among key vehicle categories, the output of passenger cars turned up 3.2 percent to 10,104,399 vehicles and that of buses jumped 36.1 percent to 126,455 units whereas truck production dipped 3.8 percent to 1,559,205 vehicles.
Exports to Asia, Middle East, Europe, Latin America and Africa grew in the double digits. Only shipments to North America declined -- at a rate of 2.4 percent -- due to an increased shift in manufacturing operations to the region, a JAMA official said.
Exports of all three vehicle categories logged robust gains. Shipments of passenger cars jumped 10.1 percent to 5,992,397 vehicles, and those of trucks and buses leapt 9.1 percent and 36.8 percent, respectively, to 641,163 and 136,291 units.
For the month of March, domestic production increased 2.3 percent from a year earlier to 1,104,659 vehicles, rising for eight straight months.
Exports also grew 12.3 percent to 638,384 vehicles, a rise for a 32-month streak.