New vehicle sales in Vietnam rose 2% to 21,039 units in April 2024 from 20,667 a year earlier, according to wholesale data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (VAMA).

The data did not include sales by Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Tesla and Nissan and a growing number of Chinese brands which have entered the market in the last two years, plus domestic vehicle manufacturer VinFast.

The market looked to be stabilising following a weak first quarter, after buyers brought forward purchases ahead of the expiry of the government’s 50% sales tax discount at the end of 2023. This followed two years of sharp declines, after the central bank hiked its interest rates aggressively in the fourth quarter of 2022.

VAMA members last month saw demand picking up slightly, helped by aggressive dealer promotional campaigns. Household spending remained sluggish, however, holding back first quarter GDP growth which slowed to 5.7% year on year from 6.7% in the previous quarter.

VAMA data showed overall vehicle sales in the first four months of the year fell by 12% to 71,886 units from 81,467 a year earlier, including a 16% decline in passenger vehicle sales to 51,326 units while commercial vehicle sales were 2% higher at 20,560 units.

Truong Hai (Thaco) group reported a 16% drop in sales to 23,057 units year to date. This included a 22% fall in Kia sales to 8,818 units, a 13% decline in Mazda sales to 7,827 units and a 10% decline in Thaco commercial vehicle sales to 5,071 units.

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Toyota sales plunged 34% to 11,804 units YTD in the continued absence of the Hiace and Hilux light commercials. Ford continued to benefit from this with sales falling just 7% to 11,074 units supported by its popular Ranger, Everest and Transit. Honda sales surged 25% to 7,921 units, Mitsubishi 8,558 units (-3%) and Suzuki 5,196 (+5%).

Hyundai reported separately it sold 14,420 units, making it the country’s best selling auto brand so far this year.

Earlier this year, the government said it would keep the registration tax for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) at 0% until 2026 while the special consumption tax had also been reduced to between 1% and 3% as part of a broader package of government incentives to attract more BEV investment into the country, including cuts in import duty on components and charging equipment.