Vietnam's new vehicle market rebounded strongly in January 2021, with sales surging by over 60% to 24,216 units from 15,123 units in the same month of last year, according to wholesale data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (VAMA).

Economic growth in the country has recovered steadily since hitting a low of 0.4% in the second quarter of 2020, accelerating to 2.6% in third quarter and to 4.5% in the fourth quarter of the year. While restrictions on international tourism remain a significant drag on the economy, the country has benefited from the ongoing trade war between China and the US – with manufacturing and exports leading the recovery.

Passenger vehicle sales rose by over 57% to 19,615 units in January, while commercial vehicle sales climbed by more than 73% higher to 4,425 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 an almost 82% increase in group sales to 9,195 units. This included a 127% jump in Kia sales to 4,486 units, making it the country's best-selling vehicle brand last month ahead of Toyota, while Mazda sales increased by 30% to 2,429 units and Thaco truck sales rose by 85% to 1,520 units.

Toyota sales were just 13% higher at 4,437 units in January; while Mitsubishi volume jumped 120% to 3,674 units; Honda 3,015 units (+57%); and Ford 1,592 units (+26%).