New vehicle sales in Vietnam continued to fall in March, by 8.1% to 20,956 units from 22,792 units in the same month of last year according to member data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (VAMA). 

Sales among non member companies are understood to have dropped much more sharply as some importers continued to struggle with new minimum standards for emissions, warranties, type approval and aftermarket services introduced by the Vietnamese government at the beginning of the year.

The government also cut import tariffs to zero on built-up vehicles originating from the neighbouring ASEAN countries which will lead to much cheaper imported cars for consumers once the new standards are met.

According to VAMA, sales of locally assembled vehicles increased by 8% last month while sales of imported vehicles fell by 48%.

First quarter sales were close to 2% lower at 58,558 units from 59,566 units in the same period of last year although the performances of the individual brands varied significantly in this period

Toyota remained the leading vehicle brand in the country albeit with sales falling by 8% year on year to 12,496 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 a 5.5% rise in group sales to 25,011 units. 

Mazda sales alone increased by 33% to 9,172 units in this period while Kia sales were up by just over 15% at 7,022 units.

Ford's sales fell by 22% to 5,405 units in the three month period while Honda's sales rose by 26% to 3,568 units and GM Vietnam's sales fell by over 12% 2,484 units.

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