Japan’s three manufacturing giants ramped up production for the beginning of the second quarter as post-GFC demand continues to rise in the US and across Asia.
The world’s largest vehicle manufacturer, Toyota, announced on Friday that its 591,109 units in April 2010 represented a 62 percent increase over the same month last year.
Nissan (up 57 percent to 319,673 vehicles) and Honda (up 27 percent to 294,308) also experienced significant gains over a difficult 2009.
Toyota’s Japanese production increased by 71 percent and exports more than doubled, peaking at slightly more than 150,000 for the month. Its offshore production also increased by 55 percent.
The strengthening US market is behind much of the gains. Nissan faired the best in April, increasing sales by 35 percent, followed by Toyota (up 24 percent) and Honda (up 13 percent).
Toyota and Honda also added significant numbers in China, as the world’s largest automotive market surges toward another record year, expected to be upwards of 15.5 million vehicles for 2010.
Honda’s production figures for May and June are expected to take a hit after it was forced to shut down its four assembly plants due to pay-related strikes at its powertrain division.
Local production of the Civic, Accord and Odyssey have been halted as the plant’s 1850 employees wrestle for a 2000 to 2500 yuan ($346 to $432) pay raise over their current 1500 yuan ($259) monthly salary.