July auto sales stagnate after surging in June hinh anh 1An auto manufacturing line of Thaco Group in Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in south central Quang Nam province. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Auto sales stagnated in July following a surge in the sale of both locally-assembled and imported cars in June.

Figures from the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA) reveal that sales totalled 24,065 units in July, an increase of a mere 0.3 percent month-on-month after rising 26 percent in June.

July sales included 16,088 locally-assembled units, up 2 percent year-on-year, while sales of imported vehicles stood at 7,977, down 2 percent.

June saw the sale of locally-assembled cars rise 43 percent month-on-month to 15,874 units and imported vehicles by 21 percent to 8,155. The sharp increases were attributed to the fact that most local car dealers were offering major discounts to kick-start demand.

The Government’s move to cut car registration fees by half also stimulated buying.

Director of auto dealer Thien Phuc An, Nguyen Tuan, said most customers had refrained from buying a new car until registration fees were cut from the beginning of July.

They rushed to sign good deals in June then waited before registering the new car, he said.

For that reason, few sales took place in July.

Insiders have forecast that sales will slow down further during lunar July, which is from mid-August to mid-September. This is traditionally called the “Month of the Ghost” in Vietnam, and people widely believe they should not make major decisions, such as purchasing cars or real estate, to avoid bad luck.

Sales of imported vehicles totalled 4,078 in the first half of August, almost equal to the July figure and only down slightly year-on-year.

As of August 15, Vietnam had imported close to 49,050 vehicles this year, worth more than 1.1 billion USD. This was only half of the 89,860, worth over 2 billion USD, imported in the same period last year.

Thailand and Indonesia remained the two largest exporters of automobiles to Vietnam, accounting for 76 percent of the total in July.

Thailand topped the list, sending more than 2,300 cars to Vietnam, up 33.3 percent month-on-month. Indonesia sent 1,300, an increase of 664 (or 100.04 percent) against June.

Other major exporters included China, with 719 vehicles, the Republic of Korea with 121, and Japan with 80./.