Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Vietnam's Sept car sales at lowest this year

HANOI, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Vietnam's September car sales fell by one third from August to 5,180 units, the lowest monthly sales volume so far this year, while sales in the first nine months still nearly doubled from a year ago, an industry report said.

Sales by 16 cars makers fell 33.7 percent to 5,180 units in September from 7,809 units in August, the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association said in its monthly report on Tuesday.

The association gave no reasons for the drop but dealers have said demand would slow for the rest of the year after the government tripled registration fees to 15 percent of the car's purchase price from Aug. 14.

Sales in the first nine months of 2008 soared 83 percent to 90,057 units from the same period last year, with Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote,ProfileResearchStock Buzz) retaining its top position among the 12 manufacturers.

Toyota has sold 18,656 cars between January and September this year, up 20.7 percent from last year but its sales growth slowed from an annual rise of 27.6 percent between the first nine months of 2006 and 2007, the report said.

Car imports in the first nine months of this year surged nearly tripled from a year ago to 45,900 units, government figures show.