New vehicle sales in Vietnam declined further in April, by 7.1% to 21,343 units from 22,977 units a year earlier, according to member data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (Vama). 

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

This is the second consecutive monthly decline for the country, driven lower by a sharp drop in passenger vehicle sales. In the first four months of the year, sales were nonetheless 2.1% higher at 80,908 units, compared with 79,246 a year earlier, helped by a sharp jump in February.

Economic growth slowed sharply in the first quarter of 2017, to an estimated 5.1% year on year from 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016. Much of this weakness was sector specific, however, with growth affected by a sharp slowdown in smartphone output at Samsung – the country’s largest exporter.

In the first four months of the year, passenger vehicle sales were up by 8.8% at 48,261 units, from 44,362 units a year earlier, while commercial vehicle sales fell by 6.4% to 32,647 units compared with 34,884 previously.

Toyota was the leading brand in the first four months of the year with sales rising by 6% to 17,672 units. Truong Hai (Thaco) group, the local assembler and distributor of brands such as KIA, Mazda, Peugeot and Hyundai, reported a 5% drop in group sales to 32,337 units.

Ford’s sales rose by 6% to 9,470 units in the four-month period, while Honda’s sales rose by 28% to 3,524 units; and GM Vietnam’s sales were 34% higher at 3,783 units.