The total sales volume of the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) reached more than 9,250 units in October, the association said.

"This figure decreased by 11 percent against the same month last year and dropped 8 percent on September," it added.

Experts said the drop was a surprise as auto sales often rise at the end of the year. To VAMA, however, everything was still running on its track.

"Sales in October dropped due to the low consumption of commercial, sport-utility, multi-purpose and cross-over cars," said Nguyen Trung Hieu, a VAMA staff.

Hieu said that the total sales of passenger cars in October still increased as it did in the last months of previous years after the announcement that registration fees will soon increase.

According to him, more than 3,770 units were sold year-on-year, up by 17 percent.

Meanwhile, the total SUV/MPV/Cross-over sales last month was 1,830 units, a year-on-year decrease of 18 percent and an 8 percent drop compared to September.

Also, only 3,374 commercial cars were purchased, a 31 percent drop against October of 2010 and 13 percent over September of this year.

"Tough economic conditions with a high banking interest rate is still the main reason causing the drop," Hieu said.

He added that SUV/MPV/Cross-over and commercial cars were often bought to serve business purposes.

"At that time, many companies found it was not effective to buy these vehicles so that they decide not to," Hieu said.

During October, Toyota was still the leader with 2,994 units were sold, a year-on-year increase of 11 percent.

In another development, the General Department of Vietnam Customs reported that about 3,290 autos were imported to Vietnam in October, worth 55.45 million USD. The figures were a month-on-month increase of 12.2 percent in volume while a 19.5 percent decrease in value./.