This is from VNA.
Any of the big three would just gasp at a 37 per cent sales growth. However the total numbers are much less impressive. For every car in Vietnam there are 21 motorbikes. Traffic must be fun in big cities such as Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Auto sales up, but downturn starts to bite
14/01/2009 -- 12:09 PM
Hanoi (VNA) – Most carmakers worldwide are bemoaning the nosedive in sales in 2008, while carmakers in Vietnam boasted a 37 percent sales growth last year.Despite falling sales in the last four months of the year, strong sales in the first seven months of the year was attributed to the overall growth rate, according to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA), which represents 17 leading automakers in the country. Total sales reached 110,186 units.Japanese-invested Toyota , topped the list with 24,421 units sold, up 21 percent year-on-year, followed by domestic truck and bus maker Vinamotor, with 20,887 units, up 281 percent.Kia assembler Truong Hai ranked third with 16,373 units sold, up 42 percent over the corresponding period last year.However, sales fell sharply in the last months of the year, as high inflation and new vehicle taxes at home and the global economic slowdown hit Vietnamese consumers.“Apart from the impact of the economic slowdown, a number of government policies such as the registration fee, have negatively affected the industry”, said former General Director of Toyota Vietnam , Nobuhiko Murakami.Only 9,293 vehicles were sold in December – the fourth month in a row when sales fell, and a drop of 23 percent against the same month of 2007.VAMA petitioned the government last month, asking for tax relief to help boost the sector.Dealers say demand will slow significantly in 2009 after the Government tripled registration fees up to 15 percent of a car’s purchase price from August last year, compounding the effects of the economic slowdown.Car ownership remains limited to the elite and emerging upper classes in the country. Vietnam has about 1 million privately-owned cars, compared to over 21 million motorbikes