Automobile production in Brazil rose 18.7% month on month in February, setting a record for the month, as exports surged.

Carmakers in Latin America’s largest economy produced about 310,700 new cars and trucks last month, 24% more than the same month of 2010, national automakers’ association Anfavea told Reuters.

Sales rose 12% to 274,200 units on a sequential basis, while exports drove production higher after jumping 16.6% to the equivalent of US$1.1bn, Anfavea said.

Exports surged 20.4% in January to 64,564 units. On a year-on-year basis, exports rose 21.5%.

Fiat was Brazil’s best-selling brand in February, with registrations totaling 60,737 vehicles, up 30% from January.

Volkswagen sold 54,608 units last month, followed by GM’s 46,329 units and Ford’s 23,646 cars.

Sales of imported vehicles rose 7.6% and jumped 53% from February 2010, Anfavea said, according to Reuters.