Vietnam's new vehicle market continued its decline in December, by almost 15% to 23,963 units from 28,164 units in the same month of the previous year, according to member data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (VAMA).

After several years of exceptionally strong growth the country's vehicle market struggled to expand further in 2017 despite improving economic indicators throughout the year. Full-year GDP growth is estimated at around 6.6% last year, up from 6.2% in 2016, on stronger manufacturing output and exports.

Over the full-year the vehicle market declined by 7.8% to 250,619 units from 271,834 sales in 2016. Sales of passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles both fell by 7.8% to 146,994 and 103,625 units respectively.

Toyota was the leading brand last year with sales rising by 4.1% to 59,355 units. Truong Hai (Thaco) group, the local assembler and distributor of brands such as Kia, Mazda, Peugeot and Hyundai and a significant player in the commercial vehicle segment, reported an almost 21% drop in group sales to 89,602 units.

Ford's sales were 1.5% lower at 28,588 units in 2017, while Honda's sales increased by 5.5% to 12,134 units and GM's were up by 8.7% at 10,576 units.