Automobile imports in July slumped by more than 26 percent from June to 2,700 units, according to the General Department of Customs.

In the first seven months of this year, the number of imported cars reached 19,700 units, worth 365 million USD, marking year-on-year rises of 23.7 percent and 7.7 percent in terms of value and volume respectively.

Vietnam imported 9,900 cars with nine seats or fewer in the seven-month period, up 14.6 percent, trucks stood at nearly 8,300 units, up 42.2 percent and those with more than nine seats climbed nearly 3-fold to 338 units.

The Republic of Korea remained the biggest car exporter to Vietnam, accounting for 47 percent of all imports, up 38.9 percent over the same period last year, followed by Thailand with 4,000 units, China (2,280) and Japan (1,100).

The customs department said last month's drop was attributed to low sales in the domestic market.

According to recent Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association statistics, Vietnam’s auto sales were estimated to have fallen 3 percent month-on-month to 9,360 units in July.

The rise in import taxes on used cars in June also deterred the auto import last month, according to experts.

Used cars with nine seats or fewer and an engine displacement of less than 1,000cc were given import tariffs of 5,000 USD since June 26, compared to 800 USD before the adjustments.

Cars with cylinder capacity of between 1,000-1,500cc saw taxes lifted to 10,000 USD, an increase of 2,000 USD.

Customs statistics showed that Vietnam's auto imports decreased to a six-year low last year, reaching only 27,000 cars, down 50 percent on 2011.-VNA