Japanese Automakers Cut Production

Levels drop in August amid weak U.S. demand.

Japan's top automakers said today they slashed production in August amid weak U.S. demand, led by Toyota Motor Corp. which curbed its global output by 15.5%. Toyota, which has suspended some production lines in the United States for three months as a result of the market downturn, said its overseas output dropped by 16.4% in August from a year earlier to 306,299 vehicles.

Toyota's domestic production fell 14.7% to 320,446 vehicles in August, while its global output was 626,745 vehicles for the month. During the same period, Honda Motor saw 295,541 vehicles roll off its production lines, down 4.8% from a year earlier, led by double-digit declines in both the United States and Japan.

Nissan Motors' global production dropped 5.5% from a year earlier to 252,609 vehicles, while Mitsubishi Motors' output slumped 17.1% to 90,987 vehicles. Mazda Motor, however, hiked output by 4.1% to 97,242 vehicles.

Japan's automakers have enjoyed brisk sales in the United States, particularly of their fuel-efficient vehicles, but the economic slump there has eroded sales, forcing them to rely on faster-growing emerging markets.

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