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8 June 2009

Car sales in Vietnam down 24% in May

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Vietnam's car sales in May dropped 24 percent from a year earlier to 8,761 vehicles, as tight credit and a weakening economy hit demand, Reuters reported.

January-May sales by the 16 car makers operating in the Southeast Asian country fell 35 percent from the same period last year to 58,860 units, the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association said in a report on Monday.

Dealers say demand could slow significantly for the rest of the year as consumers shelve big ticket items such as cars and houses.

Last year, car sales rose 37 percent to a record 110,186 units.

Vietnam's economy grew an estimated 3.1 percent in the first quarter, the slowest pace in at least a decade.

Japan's Toyota Motor Corp held on to top position with its 5-month sales down 14 percent to 10,228 vehicles. Sales by Ford Motor Co fell nearly a third to 3,441 units and Honda's sales slumped 47 percent to 2,816 units.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp, Malaysia's 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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