New vehicle sales in Vietnam rose by 58.6% to 15,065 units in December, compared with 9,497 units sold a year earlier, according to monthly data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (VAMA). Sales were up by 22.9% compared with the previous month's 12,259 units.

Buyers jumped into the market in anticipation of tax increases in 2010. The VAT on vehicles rate was doubled from 5% to 10% on January 1st, resulting in increases of around 10% to already inflated vehicle prices. Month-on-month sales are expected to weaken in the first quarter of 2010 at least.

Passenger car sales rose by 125% year-on-year in December to 5,138 units, while SUV sales were up by 20% at 3,689 units and commercial vehicle sales rose by 50% to 6,238 units.

Full-year sales, at 119,460 units, surpassed by 7% last year's record volumes of 111,946 units. Passenger car sales rose by 47% to 34,656 units; SUV sales were up by just 3% at 28,067 units; while commercial vehicles sales fell by 7% to 56,737 units.

Toyota kept its lead position with 30,110 vehicle sales in 2009, up by 23% compared with 2008; followed by Truong Hai (distributor of Kia vehicles, trucks) with 21,617 units (+23%); truck and bus distributor VinaMotor with 15,284 units (-28%); and GM-Daewoo with 14,200 units (+29%).

Tony Pugliese

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more