HANOI, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's total automobile sales in the first four months of this year were 79,115 units, a year-on-year decline of 2 percent, the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association said on Thursday.
Specifically, sales of passenger cars rose 9 percent to 52,760, those of commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses, dropped 16 percent to 23,364, and those of special-purpose vehicles fell 37 percent to 2,991.
In the January-April period, Vietnam imported completely-built automobiles and components for assembly totaling nearly 1.2 billion U.S. dollars, down 32.2 percent on-year. Specifically, the country imported over 6,700 completely-built automobiles worth 198 million U.S. dollars, posting decreases of 79.8 percent and 69.8 percent, according to its Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Fewer automobiles, especially cars, were imported to Vietnam in the period because traders were not well-prepared to comply with a new governmental decree which requires traders to provide more relevant certificates and undergo more tests than before, explained local experts.
Last year, Vietnam's total automobile sales were 272,750 units, said the association.
This year, total vehicle sales will increase to over 284,400 units, global research company BMI Research forecast, explaining that passenger car demand would be driven by reduction in tax rates on vehicles with engine sizes of 2.0 liters or less, and elimination of tariffs on completely-built units from ASEAN member countries in January.