JAPAN

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Domestic Car Sales Up: The nation's vehicle market appears ready to recover from a four-year slump after domestic sales posted a solid rise in January. The Japan Automobile Dealers Assn. said domestic sales, excluding mini models, climbed 5.1% from a year earlier to 275,188 vehicles. Sales were dampened in the early 1990s by an economic slowdown. But a gradual recovery, the introduction of cheaper models and strong demand for heavy trucks are now strengthening the market, industry officials said. Domestic vehicle sales are likely to see a 6% growth this year, analysts said.

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