Japanese Auto Output Slides

Global vehicle production by Toyota and Nissan declined in September due to a prolonged slump in the U.S. auto market amid growing recession fears.

TOKYO (AP) -- Global vehicle production by Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. declined in September due to a prolonged slump in the U.S. auto market amid growing recession fears, according to data released Monday.

Toyota, Japan's top auto maker, produced 789,224 vehicles in the month, down 1.3 percent from a year earlier. It marked the second consecutive month of year-on-year declines.

"Demand in the U.S. market remains stagnant. We are seeing a fall in demand for trucks there," said Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco. He added sluggish demand in Japan also pressured Toyota's global output.

Earlier, Toyota said its global sales in the July-September quarter fell for the first time in seven years due to faltering demand in the United States. The company sold 2.24 million vehicles worldwide during the quarter, down 4 percent from the same period last year. It marked the first year-on-year decline in the July-September period since 2001.

Toyota's rival Nissan said its global production in September slipped 0.3 percent from a year earlier to 316,082 units.

"The biggest reason for the output decline was cooling demand in the U.S. market," said Nissan spokeswoman Haruko Wada.

Nissan's sales in the U.S. dropped 36.8 percent in September, while those by Toyota slumped 32 percent as Americans tightened their purse strings amid the deepening financial crisis.

Nissan said last week it would cut auto production at its two Japanese plants due to falling U.S. sales. Nissan was also laying off 1,680 workers in Spain due to poor demand.

Honda Motor Co. said its U.S. sales also tumbled 24 percent in September. But the company's global output rose 9.6 percent to 360,453 units in the month thanks to steady demand in China.

Mazda Motor Corp., an affiliate of Ford Motor Co., said its worldwide production jumped 15 percent to 128,866 in September, led by strong demand at home.

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