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Auto output totalled 863,397 units, up 7.1% year-on-year, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Assn (Jama) said on Monday March 31.

This was the sixth consecutive monthly rise on a yearly basis, the association noted.

Passenger cars led the output increase with 741,376 units, up by 7.5%.

Output of trucks and buses rose by 4.8% and 3.1% respectively, to 109,997 and 12,024 units.

The higher numbers were driven by local sales, which saw an 18.4% year-on-year spike in February to 565,170 vehicles.

Exports were down 6% on the year however, Jama noted.

The association also said that motorcycle production increased by 9.6% in February to 56,348 units, while domestic sales surged by 26.3% to 37,401 units.

For the full 2014 fiscal year starting April 1, Jama is expecting a decline in auto sales of more than 10% on the back of an increase in Japan’s consumption tax.