New vehicle sales in Vietnam increased by 7.1% year-year to 9,386 units in May, from 8,762 units a year earlier, according to data gathered by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association.

Demand has increased as a result of strong economic growth, estimated at over 6% so far this year, driven by booming tourism and construction sectors. MPVs and SUVs led the market higher last month, having risen by 24.2% to 1,846 units after a sharp decline in the first quarter of the year.

Commercial vehicle sales also continued to strengthen in May, by 8.8% to 5,202 units. By contrast, passenger car sales fell by 6.3% to 2,338 units, after strong growth in previous months.

Overall vehicle sales in the first five months of the year rose by 5.3% to 40,226 units, compared with 38,210 a year earlier. Passenger car sales grew by 35% to 11,221 units and commercial vehicle sales were up by 5.7% at 20,648 units. Sales of SUV and MPV fell by 19.5% to 8,357 units year-to-date, despite the sharp rise in May.

Toyota sold 11,184 vehicles in the first five months of the year, up by 27.7%, helped by particularly strong demand for the Innova and Fortuner models. Truong Hai, which sells commercial vehicles and models supplied by Kia Motors, sold 9,085 vehicles (+32.3%); followed by commercial vehicle manufacturer VinaMotor with 5,064 units (-14%).

Tony Pugliese