Car sales in Venezuela fell by 51.85% in June compared with a year before, reflecting the impact of the country's deep recession on the national car industry, the Venezuelan Automobile Chamber (CAVENEZ) reported, according to Reuters.

A total of 5,185 cars were sold last month, compared with 10,769 units in June 2002, but the June '03 sales represented an increase of 5.47% from the 4,916 units sold in May, the news agency added.

According to Reuters, sales during the first six months of 2003 fell 66.32% to 27,246 units compared with 80,896 units during the same period in 2002.

Reuters noted that car sales have plummeted as Venezuela has battled political instability and a severe recession. A two-month general strike in December and January slashed sales, and tight currency curbs introduced in February have also cut into business, the report added.