The automobile industry in Brazil produced and sold a record number of new vehicles in the first half of 2008, with flex-fuel cars leading the surge according to the auto manufacturers' association, Anfavea.
Domestic sales soared 30% over the first six months of 2007 to 1.41 million units. In June alone, sales rose 5.8% from May and jumped 28.8% from the month a year ago to 256.000 units.
Production of new cars rose 21.3% in the first half over a year ago to 1.68 million units, while June output rose 4.8% from May and 23% from the same month a year ago to 303,800 units. Anfavea said it expects strong results from the automotive sector to keep sales and output in record territory through the end of 2008.
The sale of light cars with flexfuel motors, which can run on any combination of gasoline or ethanol, has been the driving force behind the strong performance in the sector.
Those sales accounted for 87.5% of all new car sales in June, compared with 87.6% in May and 86.2% in June, 2007. Over the first six months of this year, flex-fuel sales reached 1.17 million units.
The bull market for sales also extended to farm machinery such as combines and harvesters growing 9.2% in June over May and 50.5% over June 2007 to 5.100 units. Over the first half of the year, sales were up 52.4% above the same six months of 2007, reaching 25.400 units.