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Toyota, Honda Lead Gains in Japanese Auto Sales as Subsidy Boosts Demand

Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., Japan’s two biggest automakers, led the 12th straight increase in the nation’s monthly auto sales as government incentives boosted demand.

Sales of cars, trucks and buses, excluding minicars, rose 15 percent to 333,403 vehicles in July from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said in a statement today. Toyota, the world’s largest carmaker, sold 161,444 units, excluding Lexus-brand cars, up 19 percent.

Japan’s auto sales started recovering from a yearlong decline in August as government rebates and tax cuts for fuel-efficient vehicles revived demand. The incentives helped raise sales by about 600,000 vehicles last year and may increase them by about 900,000 this year, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said in December.

July sales rose 15 percent at Honda to 50,448 units, while Nissan Motor Co., the nation’s third-largest automaker, sold 50,719 vehicles, a rise of 2.3 percent.

Toyota shares gained 1.8 percent to 3,105 yen as of 2:11 p.m. in Tokyo, while shares of Honda increased 3.8 percent. Nissan fell 0.2 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Makiko Kitamura in Tokyo at mkitamura1@bloomberg.net

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