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Japan Vehicle Production Rises for First Time in 12 Months

Japanese automakers led by Toyota Motor Corp. posted an increase in domestic vehicle production for the first time in 12 months as they recovered output after the March earthquake and tsunami.

Local output in August rose 1.8 percent to 704,096 vehicles, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said today on its website. Exports gained 7.6 percent to 363,772 units, the Tokyo-based group said.

Japanese carmakers including Toyota have been hiring temporary workers to boost production from October, as they aim to make up for lost output after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami caused shortages of parts and electricity. Toyota, Asia’s biggest automaker, resumed full production at all of its North American plants this month and said it will expand U.S. output of small engines.

Toyota’s global output increased 10.6 percent to 626,817 vehicles in August, the first increase after the government ended subsidies for fuel-efficient cars last September, the Toyota City, Japan-based company said Sept. 28. Domestic output gained 12 percent to 252,374, while overseas production rose 9.8 percent to 374,443, it said.

Shares of Toyota fell 1 percent to 2,676 yen as of 2:06 p.m. in Tokyo trading.

Toyota began recruiting temporary workers from July and plans to add as many as 4,000 in Japan.

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