New vehicle sales in Vietnam surged by 78% to a new monthly high of 39,469 units in May 2022 from 22,151 units a year earlier, according to wholesale data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (VAMA).

The vehicle market continued to benefit from pent up demand following the recent covid lockdowns and the global shortage of semiconductors. The economy expanded by just over 5% year on year in the first quarter, driven by strong growth in industrial production and exports.

Vehicle sales in the first five months of 2022 increased by 42% by 163,400 units from 115,044 in the same period of last year, with sales of light passenger vehicles surging by 57% to 133,069 units while commercial vehicle sales were just slightly higher at 30,331 units.

Truong Hai (Thaco) group, the local assembler and distributor of brands such as Kia, Mazda, Peugeot, BMW-Mini and a significant player in the commercial vehicle segment, reported a 51% rise in group sales to 66,414 units year to date. This included a 75% surge in Kia sales to 31,968 units, a 53% rise in Mazda sales to 17,524 units and a 104% jump in Peugeot sales to 5,896 units, while Thaco truck sales were down by 3% at 10,090 units.

Toyota five month sales increased by 48% to 37,906 units while Honda’s sales were up by 82% at 18,489 units; Mitsubishi Motors 15,833 units (+21%); Suzuki 7,925 units (48%); and Ford 7,663 units (-24%).

VAMA data did not include all brands, including Mercedes-Benz and domestic start-up VinFast, which reported a 4% sales decline to 9,155 units in the first four months of the year after a 21% rise to 37,723 units in the whole of 2021. The company began deliveries of its first electric vehicle (EV) model, the VF e34, at the end of December and is in the process of rolling out an EV recharging network in the country.