New vehicle sales in Vietnam fell by 1.7% to 22,792 units in March 2017, from 23,195 units a year earlier, according to member data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (VAMA). 

The data did not include some non-affiliated imported brands, which means that the actual market size is larger than these figures suggest.

Last month's decline follows a strong rebound in February, but it was the second monthly drop so far this year. Economic growth is estimated to have slowed to just over 5% year on year in the first quarter due to a slowdown in manufacturing output growth but this is thought to be company-specific.

In the first quarter of the year sales increased by 5.9% to 59,565 units, from 56,269 units in the same period of last year. Sales of passenger vehicles rose by over 16% to 37,611 units, from 32,327 units a year earlier, while commercial vehicle sales were 8.3% lower at 21,954 units, compared with 23,942 units previously.

Toyota was the leading brand in the first quarter with sales rising by 13% to 13,576 units. Truong Hai (Thaco) group, the local assembler and distributor of brands such as Kia, Mazda, Peugeot and Hyundai, reported a 1% increase in group sales to 23,703 units.

Ford's sales rose by 7% to 6,926 units in the three month period, while Honda's sales rose by 38% to 2,835 units; and GM Vietnam's sales were 45% higher at 2,832 units.