Car sales in Vietnam in January plunged 39 percent from the previous month to 20,232 units (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Car sales in Vietnam in January plunged 39 percent from the previous month to 20,232 units, following a 20-year record in 2016.

The Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA) reported on February 13 that the sales of passenger cars dropped 35 percent to 14,749 units. Commercial vehicles and special-purpose vehicles also experienced the same trend with 5,098 and 385 units sold, down 45 percent and 64 percent respectively.

A 34-percent decline was recorded in the number of domestically assembled vehicles, at 15,504 units. Meanwhile, 4,728 imported completely built units (CBU) were sold, falling by 51 percent month on month.

Compared to January 2016, car sales last month contracted 13 percent. Although those of commercial and special-purpose vehicles respectively decreased 38 percent and 56 percent, the sales of passenger cars climbed 5 percent.

The sales of domestically assembled cars and imported CBUs sank 11 percent and 18 percent year on year, respectively, according to VAMA.

Among VAMA members, Truong Hai Auto Corporation (THACO) continued to take the lead with 6,511 units sold in January, holding a 33.2-percent stake in the market. It was followed by Toyota Vietnam (5,318 units, 27 percent) and Ford Vietnam (2,544 units, 13 percent).

Insiders partly attributed the sales decline to late January’s coincidence with the time prior to and the Lunar New Year holiday. Many people didn’t buy cars since they thought they might not receive new vehicles on the busy last days of the old lunar year.

To prepare for the tariff on CBUs imported from other ASEAN countries to be cut from 40 percent to 30 percent on January 1, 2017, many businesses offered big discounts last November and December, attracting a large number of buyers in the last two months of 2016 and boosting the car sales last year to a 20-year record of more than 304,000 units.

Other people who were not in an urgent need for a new car delayed the purchase as the import tariff on CBUs with the ASEAN origin will further go down from 30 percent in 2017 to zero percent next year, VAMA said.-VNA