Vietnam's new vehicle market declined by 22% to 12,939 units in February 2021 from 16,616 units in the same month of last year, according to wholesale data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (Vama ).

The association does not cover sales by domestic start-up carmaker VinFast , which is reported to have delivered around 30,000 units last year.

Last month's sales were held back by the Lunar New Year holidays, which this year fell in February, and followed a 60% year-on-year jump in January. Economic growth in the country has recovered steadily since hitting a low of 0.4% in the second quarter of 2020, accelerating to 2.6% in third quarter and to 4.5% in the fourth quarter of the year. Growth this year is expected to exceed 7.5%, driven mainly by manufacturing and exports.

In the first two months of 2021 the vehicle market was still up by over 17% at 37,155 units from 31,739 units a year earlier, according to the association, with passenger vehicle sales rising by 19% to 29,047units while commercial vehicle sales were up by close to 11% at 8,108 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 more than 39% increase in group sales to 14,964 units. This includes an 83% jump in Kia sales to 6,974 units and a 9.5% rise in Mazda sales to 3,869 units, while deliveries of Thaco trucks declined by 1.3% to 2,745 units.

Toyota reported a more than 20% sales decline to 6,848 units in the two-month period; while Mitsubishi Motors ' sales surged by 43% to 4,605 units; Honda 4,296 units (+29%); and Ford 1,592 units (+6%).