Vietnam's new vehicle market continued to rebound strongly in November 2020, with sales surging by over 25% to 34,860 units from 27,798 units in the same month of last year, according to wholesale data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (Vama).

Vietnam has avoided falling into recession this year thanks to early action by the government to control the spread of the COVID19 pandemic. GDP is estimated to have expanded by 2.6% in the third quarter, after growing by 0.4% in the second quarter and by 3.7% in the first quarter, lifted by a surge in exports as the country benefited from the trade war between China and the US. The recovery continued to gather pace into the fourth quarter, although continued restrictions on international tourism remain a significant drag on growth.

While the vehicle market continued to recover from a 30% decline in the first half of 2020, total sales in the first 11 months of the year were still down by 13% at 239,004 units from 274,307 units a year earlier. Passenger vehicle sales were down by 12% at 179,785 units while commercial vehicle sales 14% lower at 59,219 units.

Truong Hai (Thaco) group, the local assembler and distributor of brands such as KIA, Mazda and Peugeot and a significant player in the commercial vehicle segment, reported a 2% drop in group sales to 84,858 units in the 11-month period. This includes a 17% rise in Kia sales to 31,350 units, a 6% drop in Mazda sales to 27,739 units and a 3% rise in Thaco truck sales to 21754 units.

Toyota sales declined by close to 16% to 59,394 units year to date while Mitsubishi Motors sales were down by 9% at 24,387 units, Ford 20,742 (-29%); and Honda 20,276 units (-33%).