Japanese car production plunges

Production by Japan's main carmarkers dived in January as the industry is hit by the credit crisis.

The world's largest manufacturer Toyota said global production had plunged by 39.1%, from the same period a year earlier, with 487,984 vehicles made in January.

The company, which makes the Lexus luxury models and Prius hybrid, said production fell by 34.6% in Japan, while overseas it plummeted 44.2%.

Meanwhile Japan's second largest carmaker Honda saw global production slide in January by 33.5% to 226,551 vehicles.

This was the third monthly fall in a row, compared with the previous year's figures.

In January Nissan also saw its worldwide production dive 54% to 145,286 vehicles, the worst fall was in the US where there was a drop of 70.7% to 18,741 units.

Mitsubishi's world production was down 53.9% in January to 53,339 - falling for the eleventh straight month compared with last year.

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