HANOI, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam spent 195 million U.S. dollars on importing about 12,000 completely built-up cars in May 2016, an increase of 33 percent compared to April and 12 percent against the same period of 2015, according to the country's General Statistics Office on Monday.

In the first five months of this year, the number of car imports was 41,000 units, worth a total 927 million U.S. dollars, said GSO.

Local business insiders said Vietnam's auto imports increased sharply during May as consumers wanted to buy cars before the government tax hikes on imported automobiles come into effect.

Under the new tax, which will take effect from July 1, 2016, cars with cylinder capacity of 2.5 liters, 3 liters, and 4-6 liters will be taxed at 55 percent, 90 percent, and 130-150 percent, respectively.

Currently, 2.5 liter cars are taxed at 50 percent, while 3 liter and 4-6 liter cars are both taxed at 60 percent.