Sales of new cars in Venezuela rose by 111% in April 2004 compared with the same period a year ago, the Venezuelan Automobile Chamber (CAVENEZ) said.

According to Reuters, 9,001 units were sold last month compared to 4,269 cars in April 2003, when the economy of the OPEC nation was rebounding from a crippling two-month oil strike.

During the January to end April 2004 period, car sales reached 32,429 compared to 17,145 for the first four months of 2003, the report added.

Reuters noted that the economy of Venezuela, the world’s fifth largest crude oil exporter, was battered by the December 2002 to January 2003 anti-government strike that temporarily shut off oil shipments.

In February of last year the government implemented strict currency controls which have also cut into vehicle sales.

The figures are for total vehicle sales in Venezuela, and also include car models made by CAVENEZ non-members.