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Japanese automakers saw a 2.1% drop in global vehicles sales in September compared with a year earlier, the seventh straight month of declines, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hurt demand even as factories and dealerships reopen.

The country's seven major automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co, sold a combined 2.3 million vehicles last month, according to Reuters calculations based on sales data released by the companies on Thursday.

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The decline in monthly sales has, however, slowed significantly since a 50% slump in April as the Japanese car makers benefit from a rebound in demand, particularly in China, the world's biggest auto market.

Total global production at Japan's seven major automakers rose 1.2% year-on-year to 2.4 million units last month, compared with a 14% dip in August.

Global demand for cars has been weak since March because of coronavirus lockdowns. A third wave of infections is forcing some countries to re-impose tighter curbs.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.