Brazil manufactured a record number of automobiles last year, 2.61 million, up 3.1% over 2005, according to a release Wednesday in Sao Paulo from the Association of Automobile manufacturers, Anfavea.
However December's production of 185.330 units was 16.5% below November but 10% above December 2005 which had an overall negative impact over the original 4% estimate growth for 2006. Brazilian automobile exports reached 12.1 billion US dollars in 2006, 8.4% above 2005. The number includes passenger vehicles, farm equipment, engines and components, which was also a record for the sector. But taking into consideration the number of vehicles, 884.700 units, this represents a 5.8% drop compared to 2005. Anfavea claims that among the motives limiting overseas sales the strengthening of the Brazilian currency, Real, must be taken into account. Domestic sales totaled 1.928 million units in 2006, up 12.5% over 2005. Anfavea estimates that automobile sales in Brazil this year could increase 7.7%, with total production advancing 3.8%. Export volume is forecasted to remain stable.