By Flavia Bohone
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Car makers in Brazil no longer need to trim production in order to clear inventories, the head of automaker group Anfavea said on Tuesday, after August data showed the slowest daily output since the January trough of the national industry's crisis.
Automobile production in Brazil fell 6.4 percent <BRAOPM=ECI> in August from July despite two extra weekdays and tumbled 18.4 percent from a year earlier, national industry group Anfavea reported.
Sales edged up 1.4 percent <BRASLM=ECI> from the previous month, but were 11.3 percent lower than August 2015.
"We are at a (sales) level that could start growing towards the end of the year, with stronger growth in 2017," Anfavea President Antonio Megale told journalists.
His outlook reinforced expectations of a fourth year for the crisis racking automakers in Brazil and nearly halving sales since their 2012 peak as the country suffers through its worst economic recession in 80 years.
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Brazil was one of the world's five biggest auto markets until the downturn and remains a major base of operations for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV <FCHA.MI>, Volkswagen AG <VOWG_p.DE>, General Motors Co <GM.N> and Ford Motor Co <F.N>.
According to Anfavea data, Fiat remained Brazil's top seller of cars and light trucks in August, with about 34,100 new vehicles. Second-placed GM extended its lead over VW, with about 30,700 sales, ahead of its German rival's roughly 18,700 new registrations.
Ford sold around 17,500 vehicles, with Toyota Motor Corp's <7203.T> roughly 17,300 sales close behind.
(Reporting by Flavia Bohone; Writing and additional reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Alan Crosby)