UPDATE 1-Brazil auto sales fall 90% in last week of March after lockdowns imposed

(Recasts with more information from press conference)

SAO PAULO, April 6 (Reuters) - Brazil auto sales fell by almost 90% in the last week of March compared to the first week of the month as the coronavirus crisis spread through Latin America’s largest economy, the national automakers association said on Monday.

While Brazilian dealers were selling around 10,000 vehicles per day during the first week of March, that number plummeted to 1,200 vehicles per day on the fourth week of the month.

The collapse highlights the fast spread of the crisis as well as the impact of lockdown measures imposed by state governors that have significantly slowed down the economy in an attempt to contain the virus.

Brazil has more coronavirus cases than any country in Latin America, with confirmed cases surpassing 11,000 and close to 500 deaths.

Anfavea, as the automakers association is known, said it would not issue new forecasts for the Brazilian auto industry for the time being. But its president Luiz Carlos Moraes told reporters that the second quarter would be “very bad.”

Overall, automobile production in Brazil fell 7% and sales fell 18.6% in March from February, the national automakers’ association said on Monday, its first report after the coronavirus crisis hit Latin America’s largest economy. (Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Alison Williams and Nick Zieminski)