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Toyota Continues to Boost Auto Output

TOKYO - Toyota Motor on Monday reported its 25th straight month of growth in worldwide production as it closed in on General Motors' position as the world's biggest vehicle maker.

However, Toyota's main Japanese rival, Nissan Motor, said it produced fewer cars in November than a year earlier.

Toyota Motor said its global production totaled 736,003 vehicles in November, up 12.3% from the same month last year. Overseas production climbed 10.5% to 350,300, while domestic output rose 14.1% to 385,703.

Rising oil prices have prompted drivers to favor fuel-efficient cars, including the Prius hybrid, Corolla compact and the midsize Camry, the best-selling model in the U.S. market for eight of the last nine years.

Last week, Toyota executives in Japan laid out a production target of 9.42 million vehicles for next year, a 4% increase over the 9.04 million vehicles it expects to produce this year and more than the 9.2 million that Detroit-based General Motors is estimated to have produced this year.

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GM
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GM has not given targets for next year, but has been forced to scale back production after seeing its market share eroded by Toyota and other Asian automakers, which have a reputation for better fuel efficiency.

Nissan, Japan's No. 2 automaker, said its global production fell 1.1% to 291,737 vehicles in November from a year earlier.

Nissan, which has an alliance with Renault of France, reported production in Japan during the month edged down 4.9% to 106,163, while overseas production inched up 1.3% to 185,574 vehicles.

Honda Motor said its worldwide production jumped 10.6% to 328,792 vehicles in November, its 16th consecutive month of on-year growth. Honda's domestic production rose 15.0% to 126,534, while overseas output climbed 8.1% to 202,258 vehicles.

Global production at Mazda Motor rose 1.0% to 112,582 vehicles in November, with domestic production rising 3.5% to 85,754 and overseas output dropping 6.6% to 26,828.

Mitsubishi Motors said its global production fell 3.3% to 118,726 in November. Its domestic production rose 13.2% to 71,685, while its overseas output plunged 20.9% to 47,041.