Brazil's April auto sales climb and raise industry hopes -source

Thu May 2, 2013 11:10am EDT

* New registrations climb to best April ever - source

* Average daily sales above 15,000 for first time in 2013

SAO PAULO May 2 (Reuters) - Car and truck sales in Brazil climbed in April to a record for the month, according to a source with access to registration data, as recovering demand raised hopes that carmakers could shake off an uneven first quarter.

Brazilian dealerships sold nearly 333,800 new vehicles in the month, the source said on Thursday, up 18 percent from March and up 29 percent from April 2012, both of which had two fewer workdays. The source asked not to be identified because the data has yet to be officially released.

Stronger sales were not just a calendar effect, however, as average daily sales rose above 15,000 vehicles for the first time this year, posting an 18 percent rise from a year ago.

Global automakers are counting on healthier demand in Brazil to offset plunging sales in Europe, but earnings point to a letdown so far this year in Latin America's biggest car market.

General Motors Co reported a bigger-than-expected $38 million loss in its South America division, which is dominated by Brazilian operations, in a first-quarter earnings report on Thursday.

Brazil is the world's fourth-largest buyer of new cars and a key growth market for the world's biggest automakers, including U.S.-based GM and Ford Motor Co, Italy's Fiat SpA , Germany's Volkswagen AG.