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Japanese auto market sour in November as subsidies end

Toyota said Friday that sales and production slipped further in November as it was hit by the end of a government incentive programme aimed at getting people to buy more cars.

Although other carmakers reported increase in production from the global industry gloom of 2009, the Japanese auto market generally remained stagnant as the end of the subsidies in September brought demand to a screeching halt.

Industry leader Toyota said its global production, excluding its Daihatsu and Hino subsidiaries, fell 8.7 percent year on year to 656,924 vehicles. Output in Japan dropped 19.5 percent to 263,310.

Toyota had been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the government subsidies for new eco-friendly vehicle purchases, with the Prius petro-electric hybrid the best selling car in Japan since July 2009.

Toyota's domestic sales in November plunged 35.0 percent to 98,903.

Meanwhile, Honda Motor said its global production rose 5.4 percent to 317,473, with Japanese output edging up 2.4 percent to 87,511.

Domestic sales however nosedived 36.8 percent to 41,431, Honda said.

Nissan Motor's global output jumped 18.5 percent on year to 372,106. But domestic sales dropped 17.4 percent to 41,890, the company said.

Mazda's global production rose 22.6 percent to 120,991, while domestic sales fell 37.0 percent to 9,921.

Mitsubishi Motors said global output rose 11.2 percent to 103,848 and domestic sales fell 8.4 percent to 12,127.