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Toyota's global output rises by 7% in January

A man walks past a Toyota logo at the Tokyo Motor Show

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Toyota Motor said on Wednesday global vehicle production rose by 7% in January, marking a year-on-year increase for the 13th straight month as the automaker benefited from strong U.S. demand.

Output for January increased to 740,332 vehicles, while worldwide sales rose about 11% from a year earlier as growth in overseas markets such as the United States made up for declining sales in Japan. Both figures include the luxury Lexus brand.

U.S. sales for the month surged 23% while those in Europe gained 2%, offsetting a sharp 14% drop in domestic sales.

While sales in China jumped 39%, the rise was partly due to dealers selling cars on more days than last year due to Chinese New Year-related calendar changes. Toyota said competition in China continued to intensify.

Almost two-fifths of the vehicles the world's largest automaker by volume sold in January were gasoline-electric hybrids.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)

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