Venezuelan auto makers reportedly are asking left-wing President Hugo Chavez to ease the country’s controls on foreign exchange, which the industry says is hampering access to currency needed for domestic production. Venezuela's vehicle sales fell 50.4% in 2003 compared with year-prior, due to two years of political turmoil and a steep economic recession. The Venezuelan Automobil Chamber reported new-vehicle sales of 63,726 in 2003, compared with 128,623 in 2002. (See related story: South ...

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