Argentinean car makers produced 7,818 vehicles last month, an increase of 77 percent over the 4,416 units made in January, according to industry association Adefa, writes Rogério Louro Alves.

But February production was down 47.8 percent on the 14,973 vehicles produced a year previously.

Sales were similarly down. February's 8,485 units were up 132.7 percent on January's 3,646 but 45.3 percent down on the 15,504 vehicles sold in February 2001. January was the worst sales month in a decade.

Last month, Argentina exported 8,543 vehicles, a rise of 139.1 percent on the 3,573 shipped in January but 13.1 percent on the 9,830 exported in February 2001.