Vietnam spent nearly 500 USD million in the first half of 2014 to import 25,000 completely built units (CBU) cars, an increase of 44.4 percent in volume and 53.9 percent in value year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The volume of imported cars was highest in May, a total of 5,000 units worth 106 million USD. The strong rebound showed that the import value of CBU cars had been on the rise since earlier this year.

The GSO estimated that volume in June would be similar. Value was expected to decline to 84 million on imports of luxury sedans and sport utility vehicles.

CBU car imports were up 75 percent in the first five months, while locally assembled automobiles saw only a 23 percent year-on-year increase, according to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA).

Vehicle imports are increasing this year due to a tax cut that took effect on January 1. As part of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), the import tax on cars from ASEAN countries was cut in half. The tax will drop to zero when Vietnam joins the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 2018.-VNA