SAO PAULO--Brazil auto sales and production retreated in November, but sales so far this year are still up 4.8% in comparison with 2011 as tax breaks fueled record months of sales, auto-maker association Anfavea said Friday.
November auto sales reached 311,772 cars, trucks and buses, a drop of 8.7% from October and 3% less than November 2011, Anfavea said. With sales so far this year totaling more than 3.4 million vehicles, Brazil's vehicle market has expanded 4.8% from the year-earlier period.
Brazil's government slashed the sales tax on vehicles in May, boosting sales in June and July to records for those months. The tax cut was set to expire in August, pushing sales to a record of more than 420,000 units that month, but cut into sales for the following month, with September sales slumping to less than 300,000. With the tax cut extended through October and again to the end of this year, sales rose and fell as consumers rushed to take advantage of what they thought were the last days of lower taxes.
After a drop in November, sales are expected to improve in December, traditionally a strong month. That could push sales growth this year above the 5% expected by Anfavea. November vehicle production, meanwhile, climbed 10.5% on the year to 301,679 units. Output fell 5.3% from October, and through the end of November was down 2.1% from the same period in 2011. Vehicle export values also fell in November. Auto exports reached $1.23 billion, a drop of 10% from October and 16% lower than November 2011.
Fiat SpA (FIATY, F.MI) maintained its market lead during the month, selling 58,409 passenger vehicles. Volkswagen sold 52,835, ad in third place came General Motors, which sold 43,668 cars. Ford sold 17,389 vehicles, rounding out the top four car sellers.
Write to Paulo Winterstein at Paulo.Winterstein@dowjones.com