Only 9,400 units were sold in the domestic auto market during April, down by 104 units over the previous month, according to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA).

Figures revealed that sales had dropped by 3 percent in comparison with April 2010, VAMA said.

"This problem has lasted from the beginning of the year," confirmed an official from VAMA, Nguyen Trung Hieu.

Hieu added that, although individual consumers still bought vehicles, companies and enterprises faced more difficulties.

"Banking interest rates are currently pretty high. Increased petrol prices have affected the decisions people make when buying a car," Hieu explained.

According to VAMA, only 63 bus chassis were sold during April, a 94 percent decrease compared to the same period in April 2010.

VAMA confirmed that only 5,650 commercial vehicles had been sold last month, a year-on-year decrease of 23 percent.

Passenger car sales went up with more than 2,380 units purchased, an increase of 32 percent compared with the same period last year.

VAMA said that, from January to April of this year, its members had sold 37,306 units including 6,511 sport-utility vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles and cross-over vehicles, 8,880 passenger cars and more than 15,760 commercial vehicles, an increase of 20 percent compared to 2010.

"Aforementioned figures exclude reports from Vinamotor, a large member of VAMA," Hieu said.

During the first four months of 2011, the Truong Hai Automobile Company beat Toyota to reach the top spot in the domestic market.

Since the first month of this year, the company sold 10,329 units, representing 27.7 percent of total market sales. Toyota only sold 10,190 units, 27.3 percent of total marker sales.

Hieu predicted that the market would undergo no great changes as Toyota and other large Japanese companies cut down on production due to the recent earthquake.

"Vehicles sold during previous months were imported before the earthquake. Because Toyota has announced cut in production, we predict that consumption will also decrease during upcoming months," Hieu said./.