Vietnam's new vehicle market slipped by 6.1% to 11,453 units in February from 12,196 a year earlier, according to member wholesale data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (VAMA).

Last month's decline came after a 24% year-on-year jump in January and brought cumulative year-to-date sales to 43,242 units, up by 14.4% on the 37,797 units sold in the same period of last year. Economic growth remains strong in the country, at over 7.1% last year and similar growth is forecast in 2019.

Sales of passenger vehicle were up by 29% at 34,908 units in the first two months of 2019 from 27,067 units in the equivalent period of last year, while commercial vehicle sales fell by over 22% to 8,334 units from 10,730 units.

Truong Hai (Thaco) group, the local assembler and distributor of Kia, Mazda, Peugeot and Hyundai, and a significant player in the commercial vehicle segment, reported an almost 12% drop in group sales to 14,549 units in the two-month period. Mazda sales were down by 2.7% at 6,854 units, while Kia sales were flat at 4,936 units.

Toyota remained the leading vehicle brand in the country in January and February with sales rebounding by almost 24% to 9,899 units from weak year-earlier volumes, while Honda's sales jumped by 165% to 5,973 units. Ford's sales also rebounded strongly, by almost 43% to 4,999 units, while GM's sales plunged to 392 units from 1,812 units, however.

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