TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's global car production zoomed 27 percent in May as Japanese automakers benefit from improving demand in Asia and the U.S.
Toyota Motor Corp., the world's No. 1 automaker, which makes the Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury model, said Monday it produced 637,675 vehicles worldwide in May. Toyota's sales in Japan increased year-on-year for the 10th straight month, it said.
Honda Motor Co.'s worldwide production totaled 278,543 vehicles in May, surging 42.8 percent from a year earlier for the sixth straight month of improved production.
Honda, which makes the Insight hybrid and Odyssey minivan, said U.S. production increased year-on-year for the seventh straight month while production in Asia was up for the 10th straight month. Even Japan, a struggling market, saw production rise for the fifth straight month, Tokyo-based Honda said.
Japanese automakers were battered by a plunge in the auto market following the financial crisis of late 2008. But sales have been gradually recuperating as the U.S. economy recovers and demand continues to grow in Asia and other emerging markets.
Toyota's figures suggest its sales are holding up despite the bad publicity from a spate of quality lapses behind a massive global recall of more than 8 million vehicles, which began in October.
Vehicle output at Nissan Motor Co., allied with Renault SA of France, was a record for the company in May, with global production at 309,287, up 41.9 percent from the same month a year earlier.
Nissan, which makes the March subcompact and GT-R sportscar, said demand for its cars rose in various regions, including Japan, the U.S., Mexico, Spain and China.
News was also good at Mazda Motor Corp., where its global production rose 46 percent to 97,175 vehicles in May. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. reported global production for May of 83,418 vehicles, up 85.8 percent from the previous year.