New vehicle sales in Vietnam jumped 43.5% to 8,201 units in May, from 5,715 units a year earlier, according to the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association.

While the sharp increase comes against weak year-earlier data, it nevertheless reflects what looks to be a broadening market recovery following several interest rates cuts by the central bank over the last year.

Cumulative sales for the first five months of 2012 increased by 16.8% to 34,892 units, from 29,881 units in the same period of last year. 

Over the five-month period, sales of passenger cars, MPVs and SUVs increased by 35.7% to 19,866 units, while commercial vehicle sales were down by less than 2% at 14,487 units after much heavier losses earlier in the year.

Toyota led the market over the five-month period with a total of 12,035 sales, up by over 38% year-on-year. Truong Hai (Thaco), which assembles Kias and various other commercial vehicles, reported a 2% increase in sales to 9,442 units, while Ford sales jumped by 152% to 2,843 units.