CARACAS, Venezuela -- Car sales in Venezuela fell by more than 81 percent in January compared with a year ago as the nation's economic crisis crippled sales, the Venezuelan Automobile Chamber, called CAVENEZ, said Monday.
A total of 3,700 cars were sold in January compared with 19,951 in January last year -- a slide of 81.45 percent.
Car sales have plummeted as Venezuela struggled with growing recession and political instability. A two-month opposition strike cut into sales further as many private businesses remained closed. Opposition leaders are demanding President Hugo Chavez accept elections.
The companies affiliated with CAVENEZ are DaimlerChrysler AG's DaimlerChrysler de Venezuela, Fiat SpA's Fiat Automoviles, Fiat affiliate IVECO Venezuela, Ford Motor Co., General Motors' General Motors de Venezuela, AB Volvo affiliate Mack de Venezuela, Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s MMC Automotriz and Toyota Motor Corp.'s Toyota de Venezuela.
The figures represent the total vehicle sales in Venezuela, and also include car models made by non-members of CAVENEZ, such as Mazda Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG.