New vehicle sales in Vietnam rebounded by over 16% to 26,094 units in May 2019 from 22,440 units a year earlier, according to wholesale data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (VAMA).

The vehicle market continued to recover from a sharp decline a year earlier when the introduction of new regulations had a severe impact on vehicle imports.

Economic growth in Vietnam remained strong in the first quarter at an estimated 6.8% year-on-year, though moderately slower than the 7.1% growth reported in the fourth quarter of 2018. 

Vehicle sales in the first five months of 2019 were up by 17.5% at 119,497 units from 101,659 units a year earlier, driven by an almost 33% jump in passenger vehicle sales to 89,591 units.

Commercial vehicle sales were more than 12% lower at 29,906 units in this period, however.

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 9.7% drop in group sales to 38,324 units in the five month period.

Mazda sales were up by 5.3% at 14,549 units, while Kia sales increased by 7.9% to 12,328 units.

Toyota remained the leading vehicle brand in the country in the first quarter, with sales rebounding by over 37% to 29,476 units from depressed year-earlier volumes, while Honda sales jumped by over 50% to 13,418 units. Ford sales also recovered strongly, by over 54% to 12,660 units.