Japanese Vehicle Production up 5% in 2017
06 - February - 2018

TOKYO -- Global production by eight major Japanese automakers rose 5% on the year in 2017 to a sixth straight record, thanks to solid Chinese demand for their offerings.

The total reached 28,470,284 vehicles in figures released Tuesday by the companies. Output jumped 13% on the year to 4.63 million units in China, the world's biggest auto market.

Honda Motor built its highest volume of autos ever in China, surpassing American output for the first time. Nissan Motor manufactured more vehicles there than in the U.S. for a second straight year.

Toyota Motor has been strengthening Chinese production through such steps as kicking off output of new offerings at Guangzhou and Tianjin facilities.

Growth in China's auto market has slowed on such headwinds as reduced tax benefits. But Japanese players have managed to lift sales by strengthening sport utility vehicles, among other efforts.

Mitsubishi Motors sold more vehicles in China than in the U.S. for the first time ever. Mazda Motor did so for the first time in seven years.

American production by Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Subaru shrank 5% on the year to 3.76 million units. Toyota, Nissan and Honda reduced output in a nation where cheap gasoline has fueled the popularity of large SUVs and hurt sedans -- a strength of Japanese carmakers.

Output in Japan rose 5.5% to 9,194,821 units, climbing for the first time in three years. Automakers including Suzuki Motor and Daihatsu Motor stepped up minivehicle production, and exports grew as well.

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