The Brazilian auto industry had its best month of the year in August with production reaching 198,058 units. That is the most ever produced in August. It is 5% more than in July, and 47% more than in August 2003.
For the year (January to August), total production reached 1,424,900 units, compared to 1,274,900 during the same period in 2003.
Exports of vehicles are also up. For the year the increase is running at 17.4%, compared to the same period in 2003. August vehicle exports were up 5.5% over exports in July.
Farm machinery exports also rose 8.5% in August, compared to July.
Total sector exports (vehicles and farm machinery and equipment) for the year were up over 55%, compared to the same period last year.
Last month, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took a drive in Brazil’s first multi-fuel car, an Astra Multipower 2.0 sedan, which can run on gasoline, alcohol, or any combination of the two, as well as natural gas.
According to minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, the country is testing innovative technologies in the auto sector.
First, the bi-fuel (gasoline and alcohol) vehicle, and now the multi-fuel. “Our intention is to export this technology. We have had strong performance in vehicle exports, not just automobiles, but heavy vehicles and equipment,” said the minister.
Furlan explained that the multi-fuel vehicle would probably be best employed in urban areas where the traffic is heavy and the optional use of natural gas would be pay off. He said the use of such vehicles could give the natural gas sector a boost.
Furlan said the Ministry of Finance was studying calls by the auto sector for reduced taxes on multi-fuel vehicles.