Vietnam’s new vehicle market surged by nearly 23% to 29,676 units in January 2022 from 24,216 units a year earlier, according to wholesale data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (VAMA).

The market last month continued to build on its strong year-earlier rebound, as the economy continued to recover from the strict covid-related social and business lockdowns in the third quarter of last year. GDP rebounded by 5.2% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of last year after contracting by 6.2% in the third quarter, while full-year growth was just 2.6%.

The vehicle market in January was led higher by a 25% surge in passenger vehicle sales to 24,510 units, while commercial vehicle sale increased by just over 12% to 5,166 from 4,601 units.

Truong Hai (Thaco) group, the local assembler and distributor of brands such as Kia, Mazda, Peugeot, BMW-Mini and a significant player in the commercial vehicle segment, reported a 24% rise in group sales to 11,376 units last month. This includes a 21% rise in Kia sales to 5,445 units, a 35% surge in Mazda sales to 3,279 units and a 203% jump in Peugeot sales to 1,174 units, while Thaco truck sales were down by 18% at 1,250 units.

Toyota’s sales increased by 44% to 6,368 units in January; followed by Honda with 3,771 units (+25%); Mitsubishi Motors 3,581 units (-3%); Suzuki 1,788 units (+87%); and Ford 1,023 units (-36%).

VAMA’s data do not include sales by domestic start-up VinFast, which reported a 25% sales decline to 2,103 units in January, after volumes rose by 21% to 37,723 units in the whole of 2021. The company began deliveries of its first electric vehicle (EV) model, the VF e34, at the end of December and is in the process of rolling out an EV recharging network in the country.