HANOI, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's total automobile sales in the first half of this year were 125,659 units, a year-on-year decline of 6 percent, the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association said on Wednesday.
In June alone, 21,913 automobiles were sold in the Vietnamese market, down 5 percent against May, but up 10 percent against June 2017. Specifically, sales of passenger cars dropped 1 percent against May to 15,185, those of commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses decreased 8 percent to 6,281, and those of special-purpose vehicles fell 42 percent to 447.
In the first six months of this year, Vietnam imported completely-built automobiles and components for assembly totaling over 1.7 billion U.S. dollars, falling 34.9 percent on-year. Specifically, the country imported nearly 11,300 completely-built automobiles worth 309 million U.S. dollars, posting respective decreases of 77.9 percent and 70.2 percent, according to its Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Fewer automobiles, especially cars, were imported to Vietnam in the six-month 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.
Only two automobile firms, GM Vietnam and Honda Vietnam, imported vehicles in the period, while other automakers, including Ford and Nissan were trying to complete procedures required in the decree. The automakers said they would import and distribute new models to the Vietnamese market in September or October.
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.