Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) members sold nearly 10,000 cars last month, a 10 percent increase from the same period last year.

Of the 9,520 cars sold, the report stated 4,201 were passenger cars - a four percent increase on last year’s figures and sports utility vehicles, multiple purpose vehicles and crossover vehicles totalled 2,153, up 21 percent.

VAMA official Nguyen Trung Hieu said possible changes in the new registration fee tax may have boosted sales.

"Sales had slipped this year until August, which is the first month where VAMA members have enjoyed a growth in sales," Hieu said.

"It was said that the fee will start to increase from 10-15 percent to 15-20 percent in September, so that may be why consumers have decided to buy cars now," Hieu said.

Hieu concluded that these rumours may not eventuate as no city or province had changed their tax rules.

Association sales figures for the eight months to August reached 70,650 units, a 2-per- cent increase compared to last year and SUV, MUV and crossover vehicles rose by four percent in the same period. Passenger cars jumped 28.9 percent but commercial car sales fell by 13 percent.

"During these eight months, the commercial car sector was strongly effected by the challenging economic condition," Hieu said.

Hieu said commercial cars were often bought to serve business purposes such as buses and trucks and that bank interest rates remained high, restricting more consumer spending on cars.

Despite these conditions, passenger car sales continue to surge.

"There is very high demand - passenger car sales will increase even more if economic conditions improve," Hieu said.

In these eight months, the Truong Hai Auto Corporation had the highest sales figures, selling 20,736 cars, followed by Toyota with 19,058 sold./.