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Japan to boost auto output before sales tax hike

TOKYO -- Japanese automakers will ramp up production early next year because they expect a big increase in car purchases before a sales tax hike in April, media reported on Sunday.

Toyota Motor Corp. will increase domestic output in January-March by about 10 percent compared with this month, the Nikkei business daily reported.

Toyota has already told its parts suppliers that daily output in January-March will total around 14,000 vehicles, the Nikkei said without citing the source of its information.

For December the automaker had planned to produce about 12,500 cars per day, the newspaper said.

In January, Honda Motor Co. will operate two of its domestic plants two days longer than originally scheduled to meet demand for one of its smaller models, the Nikkei said.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. will also keep domestic production lines running three days longer than originally planned in January to meet demand for newly introduced sub-compact models.

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