By AP Business Writer
updated 7/31/2006 1:06:26 PM ET 2006-07-31T17:06:26

Japanese automakers produced more vehicles overseas than they did at home during a fiscal year for the first time in the year that ended March 31, an industry group said Monday.

Japanese automakers produced 10.93 million vehicles abroad in fiscal year 2005, while they made 10.89 million vehicles in Japan, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said.

The report from the association underlines the success Japanese automakers have scored as powerful global companies making and selling products around the world. The trend for the automakers to move production abroad has been continuing for decades.

The overseas production data by Japanese automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and other manufacturers, was up 10.6 percent from 9.88 million vehicles in fiscal 2004. The association had announced data for Japan production earlier.

For June, the production of cars, trucks and buses in Japan rose 7.2 percent from the same month last year, marking the eighth straight month of rises, the association reported.

Vehicle output increased to 1.02 million vehicles in June from 951,206 vehicles a year earlier, it said. Domestic vehicle demand in June totaled 509,924, down 1.5 percent from a year earlier.

Japan's exports of cars, trucks and buses rose 14.6 percent in June, rising for the 11th straight month, the group said. Vehicle exports totaled 507,608 vehicles in the month, up from 442,791 vehicles the same month last year.

Japanese automakers have been on a roll, boosting market share in the U.S. and other key global regions as surging oil prices make their fuel-efficient models more attractive to consumers.

Profit at Honda Motor Co. for the April-June quarter soared 30 percent as its global vehicle sales jumped 6.7 percent for the quarter. Nissan Motor Co. reported a 4.2 percent rise in quarterly profit but acknowledged it was selling fewer vehicles around the world because of a dearth of new models.

The rosy results from Japan contrast with the struggles of U.S. automakers General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., which both lost money during the latest quarter.

Toyota Motor Corp. gives earnings results Friday.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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