New vehicle sales in Vietnam fell by 10.6% to 9,258 units in October, from 10,031 units a year earlier, according to the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association.

Passenger car sales increased 16.8% to 3,774 units but this was more than offset by weaker sales of SUVs and MPVs, which fell by 17.7% to 1,831 units, and by sharply lower sales of commercial vehicles.

Businesses continued to struggle with high interest rates and weak export demand, with commercial vehicle sales falling by 31.2% at 3,374 units. The segment also faces competition from cheaper, used imports.

The vehicle market expanded by 1.6% to 89,936 units in the first 10 months of 2011, from 88,541 units in the same period of 2010. The market is expected to come under further pressure in the final months of the year, as supplies of components from Thailand decline as a result of the floods.

Truong Hai, which assembles Kia cars and various commercial vehicles, led the market over the 10-month period with sales rising by close to 29.7% to 29,298 units; followed by Toyota with 25,100 sales (+3.2%); and GM Daewoo with 8,244 (+9.9%).