(Adds economic context, sales by brand)
By Alberto Alerigi Jr.
SAO PAULO, Dec 4 (Reuters) - The crisis in Brazil’s auto industry deepened in November, with production tumbling further as carmakers idled assembly lines and slashed payrolls, pushing the outlook for recovery to late next year.
Automobile output in Brazil fell 14.2 percent in November from October and 33.5 percent from a year earlier, national automakers’ association Anfavea said on Friday.
Auto sales edged up 1.6 percent from October, but plunged 33.8 percent from a year ago.
The auto industry, which contributes about a quarter of Brazil’s industrial production, has suffered the brunt of the country’s deepest downturn in 25 years due to tight credit, rising unemployment and crumbling consumer confidence.
Automakers have fired nearly one in ten workers over the past 12 months. Anfavea President Luiz Moan said the drop in output reflected the closure of more than 30 factory shifts, as inventory levels lingered near record highs.
Anfavea expects sales to fall again next year, with a “more sustainable” recovery coming in the final quarter of 2016, Moan said, underscoring the slim odds of a swift economic rebound.
Brazil is one of the world’s five biggest auto markets and a major base of operations for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV , Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co.
According to Anfavea data, Fiat remained Brazil’s top seller of cars and light trucks in November, with about 36,400 new vehicles. GM extended its lead over VW, with about 30,700 sales, ahead of its German rival’s roughly 24,900 new registrations.
Ford sold around 19,200 vehicles, up 18 percent from the previous month. (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr.; Writing and additional reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum)