New vehicle sales in Vietnam rebounded in September, by almost 25% to 24,018 units albeit from weak year-earlier sales of 19,257 units, according to member data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (VAMA). 

Economic growth has been strong this year, with third quarter GDP growth estimated at 6.9% – moderately down on the 7.1% growth reported in the first half of the year. 

The vehicle market has struggled with regulatory changes introduced at the beginning of the year, however, which have held back imports this year. The commercial vehicle segment has been hit particularly hard by this, but there are signs that conditions are beginning to improve. 

Overall vehicle sales in the first nine months of the year were up by 0.8% at 186,422 units compared with 184,838 units in the same period of last year.

Passenger vehicles sales jumped by almost 48% to 16,681 units last month and were up by 16% at 126,418 units year-to-date.

Commercial vehicle sales continued to struggle, however, with volumes declining by over 8% to 7,337 units in September and by almost 21% to 60,008 units YTD.

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 6.8% year-on-year rise in group sales to 71,145 units in the first nine months of the year. 

Mazda sales alone were up by over 28% at 23,245 units, while Kia sales rose by close to 23% to 20,653 units.

Toyota remained the leading vehicle brand in the country over the nine-month period, albeit with sales falling by 6.4% to 41,008 units, while Honda's sales were up by over 80% at 17,579 units. Ford's sales plunged by over 31% to 14,636 units and GM's were 3.4% higher at 8,370 units.