Vietnam Cars Sales Up 141 Percent in First Six Months

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July 9 – Auto sales in Vietnam rose 141 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2008, industry group the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association said on Tuesday.

The association said from January to June its members sold 68,609 vehicles, including cars, trucks and buses, compared with 28,522 in the first six months of 2007.

Japan's Toyota topped the list with 12,510 units sold, followed by domestic companies Vinamotor with 14,594 units and Truong Hai with 11,295 Agence France-Presse reported.

In June alone, car sales climbed by 60 percent year-on-year at 9,749 units. However, auto sales were down 15 percent from May following Hanoi’s attempt to curb imports by raising certain taxes.

Vietnam has struggled with double-digit inflation and a ballooning trade deficit throughout 2008. The country has seen an estimated economic growth of lower-than-expected 6.5 percent in the first half compared with 7.9 percent in the same period last year.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged state agencies to limit car imports to curb Vietnam's trade deficit, which widened to an estimated US$14.8 billion dollars in the first sixes months.