Vietnam's new vehicle market continued to rebound in December 2020, with sales rising by over 11% to 34,860 units from 31,255 units in the same month of last year, according to wholesale data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (VAMA).

The economy has steadily recovered from the 0.4% year-on-year growth seen in the second quarter of 2020, with growth 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 trade war between China and the US with manufacturing and exports leading the recovery.

After declining by 30% in the first half of 2020, the vehicle market rebounded strongly in the second half of the year – resulting in a 7% decline in full year sales to 283,983 units from 305,562 units in 2019. Passenger vehicle sales were down by just under 6% at 215,908 units, while commercial vehicle sales were more than 10% lower at 68,075 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 a 9% increase in group sales to 100,727 units last year. This includes a 30% rise in Kia sales to 39,180 units, a 1.5% drop in Mazda sales to 32,224 units and a 5% rise in Thaco truck sales to 24,119 units.

Toyota sales declined by almost 11% to 70,692 units in 2020 while Mitsubishi sales were down 6% at 28,954, Ford 24,663 (-23%) and Honda 24,418 (-26%).