South America's major auto markets saw improvement in 2004, including cash-strapped Argentina and politically charged Venezuela. Brazil, the region's largest market, resoundingly smashed previous records, including its 1997 production benchmark. (See related data: 2005 World Auto Makers' Addresses) Venezuelan new-car sales more than doubled in 2004, to a total of 134,357 units compared with prior year's 63,726, when vehicle sales fell 50.4%. Analysts said it was a sign the oil-rich ...

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