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January 10, 2009

Vietnam car sales decline 23% in Dec 2008
Car sales in Vietnam dropped 23 percent in December from the same month in 2007 to 9,293 units as higher taxes and the economic slowdown combined to hit demand.

However, sales [by the 16 car makers operating in the Southeast Asian country jumped 37 percent to a record 110,186 vehicles in the full year 2008, Reuters quoted the Vietnam Automobiles Manufacturers Association as saying in a statement.

Dealers say demand will slow significantly in 2009 after the government tripled registration fees to up to 15 percent of a car's purchase price from August last year, adding to the effects of the economic slowdown.

Toyota Motor Corp retained its pole position among the manufacturers with Jan-Dec sales surging 21 percent from a year earlier to 24,421 vehicles. Sales by Ford Motor Co rose 9 percent to 6,494 units.

Honda, Mitsubishi Motors Corp, Mitsubishi Co and Proton, Suzuki Motor Corp and Nissho Iwai, part of Sojitz Holdings Corp, are among the car makers with assembly plants in Vietnam.

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