HA NOI (VNS)— Total car sales in Viet Nam continued to crash last month, making it the 8th bad months in a row for the industry and seriously denting hopes of an imminent recovery.
August sales hit nearly 6,448 units, declining 4 per cent from July and 33 per cent over the same month last year, the Viet Nam Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA) said in a statement.
Of the figure, 2,012 passenger cars and 2,927 commercial vehicles were sold, down 52 and 10 per cent respectively, compared to the same period of last year while almost all car-makers, including Truong Hai, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, GM, Ford, Mitshubishi, Isuzu and VMC, suffered the slump.
Many saw sales drop by more than two-thirds on the same period last year.
VAMA chairman Laurent Charpentier said the reduction in car sales was only partially due to the economic downturn. The main reason was the fact that the industry was influenced by the ghost month (Lunar July).
He predicted that the first days of September would still be affected by the ghost period but the month would end on a higher note than August.
Last month, an increase in sales was only enjoyed by four car-makers including Honda, Vinamotor and VEAM. Notably, Honda sales soared by 100 per cent against the same period last year.
Experts predicted total sales of the market this year might reach 88,000 units by the year's end, representing a fall of 4.6 per cent on 2011, the association said.
VAMA Secretary Pham Duy Hung said the automotive industry would gradually improve after the ghost month.
However, Hung noted that, compared to the same period last year, the industry has seen a slump of about 22,641 vehicles or 38 per cent in the first eight months of this year.
He attributed the decline to economic turbulance, high bank lending interest rates of 18-20 per cent, tightened lending conditions and the 15-20 per cent registration fees in Ha Noi and HCM City.
"This new fee is freezing the market's demand," he said.
The auto industry recession is expected to reduce its annual contribution to the State budget, which had been estimated to hit US$2 billion. — VNS