Motorbike makers in Vietnam produced 384,800 units in January, a year-on-year increase of 11.3 percent, fuelled by discounts in retail prices, statistics released on Feb. 15 showed.

The revival of the motorbike sector was attributed to the mass discount of retail prices to trigger demand.

"There is no other way to ignite demand than by cutting retail prices," said Pham Manh Sy, general director of the Viet Phu company, a prominent Yamaha retailer in Hanoi.

Sy told the English-language daily Vietnam News that economic difficulties and increasing cases of motorbike fires had decelerated the market.

"However, the appeal of lower prices drew buyers back," he added.

Sy said retail prices of some models were cut from 5 to 10 percent.

Meanwhile, the country imported 5,000 complete-built-unit (CBU) motorbikes worth 8 million USD last month, according to the GSO.

While the figure represents a 70 percent rise in volume and 100 percent increase in value over December 2011, it also represents a 69.5 percent drop in volume and a 71 percent decline in value over the corresponding period last year.

According to the Ministry of Transport, as many as 35 million motorbikes now run throughout the country.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade predicted that Vietnam would have a population of 99.6 million and 33.5 million motorbikes by 2020, or one motorbike for every 2.97 people.

Most big scooter brand names in Hanoi have seen sharp decreases in sales prices, some experiencing drops of 10 million VND (476 USD) lower than proposed prices.

Many scooter retailers in the capital said it has been an unusually quiet time for the market. A scooter trader in Hue Street said several people rushed to buy motorbikes before the end of last year to avoid increasing fees of registration.

A HEAD retailer in Giai Phong Street said the number of scooters provided from producers to retailers had risen, causing a surplus of products due to low demand. /.