TOKYO, Jan. 28 (Kyodo) — Six major Japanese automakers, including the top three manufacturers, marked record global outputs in 2012 due mainly to increased production in North America and Southeast Asian countries based on robust demand in the regions, according to data released Monday.
As a whole, Japan's eight major automakers produced a total of 9.44 million units at home, up 18.3 percent from 2011, and 15.44 million units abroad, up 18.6 percent.
Among the top three, Toyota Motor Corp. produced 8.74 million vehicles last year around the world, up 26.1 percent from the previous year. The automaker's output in North America increased 42.7 percent to roughly 1.72 million units.
Nissan Motor Co. expanded global production by 5.5 percent to 4.89 million units. Its overseas production grew 6.3 percent to 3.74 million units, also a record high for a calendar year.
Honda Motor Co.'s global output was up 41.3 percent to 4.11 million units, as it boosted output in North America amid rosy sales of its CR-V sport utility vehicles and Civic lineups.
Global production also hit record highs for Suzuki Motor Corp., Daihatsu Motor Co. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. Output grew 6.2 percent to 2.89 million units at Suzuki, 19.9 percent to 1.19 million units at Daihatsu and 29.8 percent to 753,320 units at Fuji Heavy.
Global output at Mazda Motor Corp. rose 2.0 percent to 1.19 million units, while that at Mitsubishi Motors Corp. gained 4.2 percent to 1.11 million units.
Domestic sales increased 40.9 percent to 1.69 million units for Toyota and 48.0 percent to 745,165 units for Honda, supported by the government's subsidies for purchases of environmentally friendly vehicles, rebounding from drops in 2011 in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster.
Nissan also saw an 11.6 percent increase in domestic sales, selling 659,756 units, Suzuki expanded 21.7 percent to 673,139 units, Daihatsu went up 23.5 percent to 677,200 units and those at Fuji Heavy were up 12.0 percent at 177,715 units.
Domestic sales at Mazda grew 14.9 percent to 218,359 units, and those at Mitsubishi fell 4.8 percent to 140,487 units.
Soured ties with China due to a territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which are administered by Japan but claimed also by China and Taiwan, weighed down on production and exports.
Of the eight automakers, six have production plants in China, with their total production there in 2012 falling 8.2 percent to 2.97 million units.
Exports climbed 24.0 percent to 1.95 million units for Toyota, but decreased 5.8 percent to 674,580 units for Nissan, while Honda's fell 8.7 percent to 214,562 units.
Exports at Suzuki dropped 21.3 percent to 196,030 units, while those at Daihatsu plunged 55.1 percent to 9,752 units, and those at Fuji Heavy added 27.0 percent to 379,356 units.
Mazda saw a 3.3 percent increase in exports to 671,790 units, but Mitsubishi suffered a 16.4 percent fall to 366,248 units.