Vehicle sales in Vietnam numbered 8,458 units in July, up 31% from the 6,474 units sold a year earlier. However, numbers were down compared to June (2008), when 9,749 vehicles were sold.
Passenger car sales increased by 60% year-on-year in July, VietnamNet Bridge reports, citing data compiled by the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA). CV sales, meanwhile, rose by 184% during the month.
Cumulative sales for the January-July 2008 period, comprising those for 16 OEMs, totalled 77,067 units, 120% higher than the figures posted in the corresponding period of 2007. For the whole of calendar 2007, vehicle sales totalled close to 80,000 units.
Toyota led the car market last month, with sales of 2,431 units, 200 vehicles more than it sold in June. Sales were primarily driven by its Innova minivan, which accounted for 1,523 units.
For the first seven months of 2008, the OEM led the 12 OEMs backed by foreign firms, selling 14,941 units. This figure was 50% higher than the number of vehicles sold by the Japanese firm in the corresponding period of 2007.
Other OEMs that posted sales growth last month included Ford, which sold 13 units more than in June, recording sales of 459 units, and Isuzu, which accounted for 304 vehicles, up from 173 units in June.
General Motors' subsidiary GM Daewoo posted a significant drop in sales in July, with only 725 units, compared to 1,009 cars in June. This was primarily the result of a decline in sales of the Captiva SUV, which saw sales drop from 379 units to 119 cars last month.
Honda sales also fell, in this case by 44 units compared to June 2008, down to 746 units. The Honda Civic, however, was the bestselling model in the mid-sized sedan segment, beating both the Toyota Altis and Ford Focus for this position, VietnamNet Bridge notes.
As for CV sales, various manufacturers posted declines last month. Truong Hai, for instance, had sales of only 1,008 units, down from 1,679 in June. Vinaxuki, meanwhile, saw sales drop by 137 units month-on-month.
Industry experts expect sales to soften from this month, due to vehicle price increases resulting from higher raw material costs and the rising inflation in the country. Registration fees too will increase to 15% from 14 August, the government has said. This follows a 36% rise in fuel prices, which came into effect on 21 July.
The Communist government plans further import tax hikes, Reuters says. This levy currently stands at 83%, up from 70% previously. As a result, import numbers fell last month to 3,000 completely built-up (CBU) vehicles, compared with 4,500 such vehicles in June 2008. Cumulative import numbers for the first seven months of this year, however, surged 290% year-on-year to 43,000 units, the report says, citing data published by the government.