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Brazil October auto production slips, sales slow down

SAO PAULO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Brazil's motor vehicle production in October slipped and sales slowed to their weakest pace in eight months as rising inventories pointed to a year-end slowdown at local factories.

Automobile output in Brazil fell 2.5 percent and sales rose 6.6 percent from September, which had two fewer working days, the national automakers' group Anfavea said on Wednesday.

The pace of new registrations dropped to about 14,400 sales per day, the weakest demand since March, according to Reuters calculations. Anfavea said in a presentation posted to its Web site that inventories at factories and dealerships rose 5 percent to about 40 days' worth of sales, the year's peak.

Stagnating demand for cars despite heavy tax incentives from President Dilma Rousseff underscored signs that sales in Brazil may well contract this year for the first time in a decade. Registrations through October slipped 0.7 percent from the same period of 2012.

Brazil is the world's fourth-biggest auto market, with Italy's Fiat SpA, Germany's Volkswagen AG and U.S.-based General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co selling more than 70 percent of new cars in the market.

Fiat remained Brazil's top seller of cars and light trucks in October, with about 61,600 new registrations. GM surged past VW into a close second place, selling some 60,900 passenger vehicles compared with the German automaker's roughly 56,400 cars and light trucks. Ford sold about 29,400 vehicles.

French car maker Renault SA kept its lead over a surging Hyundai Motor Co with about 21,600 new registrations compared with the Korean rival's roughly 19,500 sales.