Vietnam vehicle sales nearly doubled to more than 80,000 units last year compared to 2006, driven by a 128% rise in demand for passenger cars, manufacturers said.

Toyota topped the list of 17 manufacturers who make or assemble automobiles in the country with over 20,000 domestically-assembled units sold, followed by Truong Hai, GM Daewoo and Vinaxuki, they told Agence France Press (AFP).

Total auto sales increased to 80,392 units from January to December, up 97% compared to the previous year, the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA) said in a report cited by the news agency.

In December 2007 alone, sales volume reached 12,006 units, up 96% compared to the same month of 2006.

Vietnam, an emerging market with 8.5% growth last year, moved from bicycles to motorcycles in the 1990s and is now seeing a rise in car ownership, especially in cities, despite high import tariffs.