By Kiyori Ueno and Makiko Kitamura
Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s biggest automaker, and Honda Motor Co., the second-largest, led a drop in production among the nation’s carmakers last month as rising unemployment sapped North American sales.
Toyota’s production fell for a 12th straight month, declining 20 percent from a year earlier to 576,074 vehicles, the company said in a statement today. The number excludes Toyota’s affiliates Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd. Honda’s output fell 24 percent to 258,972, while Nissan Motor Co. built 265,623 vehicles, down 16 percent.
The production cut at Toyota was its smallest in nine months as government incentives spurred demand in the U.S., Japan and Europe, according to Bloomberg data. The company’s Corolla and Camry models were among the top five purchased under the U.S. “cash for clunkers” program, which ended Aug. 24 and generated almost 700,000 sales, according to the Transportation Department.