Vehicle production in Brazil fell only 1% in 2009, as strong home market demand offset falling exports.

Automobile production slumped 13.6% month on month to 251,482 units in December, automakers association Anfavea said.

December sales on the other hand jumped 16.4% over November last month, to 293,026 vehicles, Anfavea noted, while total 2009 sales rose 11.4% year on year to 3.14m, as announced earlier by a dealers group.

Anfavea told Reuters exports dropped 40.5% in 2009 to US$8.29bn.

Fiat remained the market leader in 2009, selling 736,969 new cars and trucks, up 12% from 2008, while VW sales jumped 17% to 686,408 units, GM’s sales rose 8.5% to 595,491 unitsand Ford sold 304,007 units, 16.9% up.