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August auto sales lowest in 2008, says industry report   2008-09-10 - TN, agencies

Vietnam in August posted its lowest monthly sales of locally-assembled cars since the beginning of this year, the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA) said in a report Tuesday.



According to VAMA, its 16 member companies sold only 7,809 units in August, a 7.7 percent decrease versus July and the lowest monthly sales in 2008.

However, sales during the first eight months of this year still kept pace with the rising trend, surging 104 percent to 84,876 units, led by Toyota Motor Corp. as the country’s top seller among the 12 manufacturers backed by foreign firms.

Toyota’s sales in the first eight months have risen 49 percent to 17,430 units, the report said.

Vietnam-owned Vinamotor was next with 16,951, followed by Truong Hai with 12,950 units respectively.

The association did not explain why sales decreased for the month.

But authorities have advised local residents to use public transportation and reduce spending on luxury items like cars to curb traffic jams and double-digit inflation.

Demand for cars in Vietnam during the remainder of the year is expected to slow after the government tripled registration fees to 15 percent from last month.

The Finance Ministry said last month it was drafting a law under which a special consumption tax will be raised to 60 percent for consumers who buy cars with 2.0 to 3.0 liter engines.

Those buying cars with bigger than 3.0 liter engines will be hit with a 70 percent special consumption tax.

Imported vehicles are also subject to 83 percent import tariffs.

Car imports in August nearly halved to 1,700 fully-assembled units from 3,000 units in July, but the total vehicles imported since the start of this year still hiked 223.6 percent from the same period last year to 44,300 units, government figures show.

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