Japan Automakers See Strong Gains In August

TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese automakers logged robust production growth in August, as demand held firm despite emerging signs of a cooling global economy.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world's largest automaker, said global production rose 11.4 percent year-on-year to 566,768 vehicles for the 13th consecutive month of increase.

However, Toyota's export growth slowed to 3.9 percent on year, down from 11 percent in July. Sales in Japan jumped more than 43 percent.

Nissan Motor Co. said in its monthly report that it had its best August ever.

Global output jumped 31 percent to 310,0872 vehicles -- an all-time high for the month. The company, which is allied with Renault SA of France, credited brisk demand for the Altima sedan in the U.S. as well as the new Juke crossover SUV in Japan and the U.K.

Nissan's exports rose 11.9 percent, while global sales climbed 5.7 percent, it said.

Honda Motor Co., Japan's second biggest automaker by sales, said its August production rose for the ninth straight month. Global output expanded 16.9 percent to 288,084 vehicles, led by gains in North America and Europe.

Exports jumped 55.9 percent, while domestic sales soared almost 60 percent.

Mazda Motor Corp.'s August global production rose 13.9 percent from the previous year to 96,595 vehicles. The company sharply boosted overseas output of the Mazda2 and Mazda3.

Its overseas shipments rose 11.3 percent.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. reported a 42.7 percent jump in global production to 89,779 vehicles. Exports in August more than doubled to 38,355 vehicles.

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