Domestic auto sales last month hit nearly 8,390 units, down 4 percent over the same period last year, but up a significant 97 percent since February, said the Vietnam Automobile Manufacture’s Association (VAMA).

Compared with February, sales of commercial vehicles rose by 75 percent to more than 2,800 units, while trucks grew 111 percent to 5.600 units.

Of the total, domestically assembled autos accounted for nearly 7,000, increasing 103 percent against February, while vehicles accounted for 1,400, up 74 percent.

VAMA Chairman Laurent Charpentier said its members’ sales were 400-500 units higher than forecast, showing a positive sign for the country’s automobile industry.

Last month, Toyota continued to be the market leader with sales of more than 2,400 units, followed by Truong Hai with 2,200 and Ford, 498.

Vina Mazda saw the highest growth of 318 percent over the same period last year, ahead of Honda 287 percent and Vinastar 95 percent.

Toyota contributed several best selling models with its sedans and SUV/MPV series.

Michael Behrens, General Director of Mercedes Benz Vietnam, said the increase was due to the reduction of registration fees for under-10 seat cars and used vehicles.

He told Vietnam Economic Times that the fee reduction would help the market improve as it would cost customers less to buy a car.

Despite the increase, he said VAMA expected auto sales of around 100,000 units this year, 8 percent higher than last year.-VNA