Vietnam Auto Sales Surge 181%

First four months of year sees large increase in commercial car purchases

The 16 members of the Vietnamese Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA) who produced automobiles in the period said they sold a total of 47,366 units between January and April.

The increase was mainly pushed by a 313% jump in commercial car sales year-on-year with 29,745 units sold, while passenger car sales went up 105% to 7,791 units, VAMA said in its report.

In April alone, auto sales increased 183% year-on-year, reaching 13,271 units, the report said.

Vinamotor topped the list in the number of units sold in the period with 11,230 cars, followed by Toyota and Truong Hai with 7,896 and 7,492 units sold respectively. Mekong saw the highest percentage increase, with 830 units sold in the period, up 255% year-on-year, followed by Hino and Vinaxuki with 196% and 195% increases respectively.

In the first four months, Vietnam also imported about 28,000 cars, an increase of 470% year-on-year, and worth a combined $483 million, the state-run General Statistic Office said.

Vietnam -- with around 86 million people and economic growth of 8.5% last year -- has increased import duties on new passenger cars by 13% to 83%. The increase is expected to reduce city traffic jams and curb Vietnam's record trade deficit, which widened to $11.1 billion in the first four months of 2008.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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