Vietnamese are buying cars and motorbikes like there's no tomorrow.
Sales of vehicles continued to grow at a very fast pace in the first half of the year, with car ownership in particular becoming even more affordable and appealing to many people.
Figures from the Vietnam Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers showed that domestic sales in the first six months increased 8 percent year-on-year to more than 1.44 million. That translates to around 8,000 new bikes every day.
Meanwhile, nearly 136,000 cars were sold over the same period, or nearly 750 every day. Compared to the same period last year, that was a staggering 31 percent surge.
Industry insiders believe many people have been buying cars to avoid higher luxury taxes on large cars, which came into effect on July 1. But sales of small cars in upcoming months may benefit from lower tax rates, not to mention upcoming preferential tariffs for cars from regional countries.
Reports from government agencies forecast that the demand for cars in Vietnam will be increasing in the coming years, which will impose heavy pressure on its overstrained transport infrastructure, especially in large cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, more than 45 million vehicles are crowding Vietnamese roads.
That has gone beyond the number of 36 million vehicles that the infrastructure system was originally expected to serve in the year 2020.