Brazil auto industry prospects still bleak even after August recovery, Anfavea says

SAO PAULO, Sept 4 (Reuters)The Brazilian auto sector bounced back in August, but the recovery is not strong enough to prevent layoffs in an industry still reeling from an economic downturn during the coronavirus health crisis, a sector association said.

Anfavea, which represents vehicle manufacturers in the country, said on Friday that the sector produced 210,900 light vehicles last month, up 23.6% from July. But compared to August 2019, there was a 21.8% decline. Sales, on the other hand, had a monthly increase of 5.1%, to 183,400 units, but fell 24.5% against from August 2019.

According to Anfavea President Luiz Carlos Moraes, the worst seems to be over as social isolation measures, imposed in March, were eased. When Brazilians were told to shelter at home to help contain the spread of the virus, auto production nearly ground to a halt in April.

A lot remains uncertain, Moraes told reporters as figures for last month were disclosed. In the year to August, auto production stood at 1.11 million vehicles in Brazil, down 44.8% year-on-year.

(Reporting by Aluísio Alves in São Paulo Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by David Gregorio)

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