The Vietnamese vehicle market expanded by 26.1% in July to 10,839 units, from 8,592 units a year earlier, according to data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association (Vama).

The sharp improvement follows a 50% cut in the rate of VAT and a similar reduction in vehicle ownership tax in June.

Driving the market higher in July was the passenger car segment, which expanded by over 40% to 3,191 units, and the commercial vehicle segment, which expanded by 35% to 5,338 units. Sales of MPVs and SUV were 2% lower at 2,310 units, although this represents a significant improvement on previous months.

Despite this rise, cumulative sales in the first seven months of the year fell by 24.6% to 58,748 units, compared with the 77,898 units sold in the equivalent period of 2008. But the prospects for the market in the second half have been significantly improved.

In the January-June period, Toyota reported a 9% drop in sales to 13,693 units, followed by Truong Hai – which assembles Hyundai-Kia and Foton vehicles, with 10,940 units (-17%), and commercial vehicle assembler Vinamotor with 8,696 units (-45%).

Tony Pugliese