Vietnam is expected to import a large number of Chinese vehicles, especially trucks, local newspaper Investment reported on Wednesday, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Many local auto producers and traders predicted that Chinese vehicles will dominate Vietnam's rural and mountainous areas in future - rural residents are interested in Chinese trucks due to their lower prices.

In the Vietnamese market, a 2.5-ton Korean truck costs up to 400 million Vietnamese dong (VND) (over $US25,300), while a similar Chinese vehicle sells for around 175 million VND (some $11,000).

Now, up to 95 out of some 100 truck and bus models registered at the Registration Department under Vietnam's Transport Ministry by 40 local automobile producers have Chinese origin. Vietnamese companies should cooperate with well-known Chinese automakers such as Dongfeng, Changcheng and Jinbei to benefit from their technology transfer and after-sales services, the report said.

Automobile joint ventures in Vietnam sold a total of 16,128 vehicles in the first half of this year, posting a year-on-year rise of 26.1%, the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association told Xinhua recently. Specifically, they recorded combined sales of 2,633 buses and trucks, up 25.5%.

Currently, there is one car to 145 in the country, which houses 13 automobile joint ventures with total registered capital of nearly $700 million and combined annual capacity of 173,000 units, the association said.

According to the department, Vietnam now has over 523,500 automobiles, including nearly 75,350 aged more than 20 years.