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Over 125,000 autos sold in H1
Wednesday,  7/11/2018, 14:45 

Over 125,000 autos sold in H1

By Hung Le

Models pose next to a car on display at an auto show in HCMC. Sales of completely-built-up autos imported from other countries may surge in the remaining months of the year - PHOTO: QUOC HUNG

HCMC - Auto sales reached 21,900 units in June, taking the total in the first half of the year to 125,660 units, down 6% year-on-year, according to data from the Vietnam Auto Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA).

Despite a decline in the number of autos sold in the period, the passenger car sale volume increased 6% to over 83,300 units.

Meanwhile, nearly 37,400 commercial vehicles and 4,500 special-use autos found their owners in the January-June period, dropping 21% and 40%, respectively, over the same period last year.

It is noteworthy that locally assembled autos showed strong consumption, with a rise of 10% to 106,700 units, while the sales of completely-built-up (CBU) auto imports plunged 49% to over 19,000 units in the period.

The results were mainly affected by the Government’s Decree 116 imposing strict regulations on auto imports, which came into force early this year. The Vietnam Business Forum’s car and motorbike working group, including car manufacturing firms from Japan, the United States and Europe, on July 4 echoed this opinion.

VAMA Chairman Toru Kinoshita, who is also head of the car and motorbike working group, said the decree nearly caused a suspension of auto imports from developed countries such as Japan and various European countries in the first half of the year.

According to auto traders and market analysts, the tumble in sales of imported CBU autos is contrary to expectations, as the duty on CBU auto imports from other ASEAN countries has been cut to zero from 30% last year.

A report by the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that only 12,380 autos worth US$329 million were imported into the country in the first six months of the year, plummeting 75.7% in volume and 68.3% in value year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the scarcity of imported autos has paved the way for the consumption of locally assembled vehicles.

Although the car and motorbike working group has complained about obstacles to importing autos, including a regulation requiring local car importers to obtain Vehicle Type Approval (VTA) certificates from exporting countries, Indonesia and Thailand, Vietnam’s two biggest rivals in the sector, have issued VTA certificates for auto importers in Vietnam. As a result, more CBU autos from these countries will be shipped to Vietnam in the near future.

In addition to Honda Vietnam and GM Vietnam, some other auto firms have received auto shipments and will soon put these autos up for sale. They have announced the prices of these autos and accepted customers’ pre-orders.

However, consumers cannot take possession of these products until next month.

Thus, domestic importers continue to encounter difficulties in buying autos from Japan and the United States. However, the volume of auto imports from these two markets is small, as Vietnam typically imports luxury cars from Japan, such as the Lexus and Infiniti, while some US auto brands are common in Thailand, Indonesia and some other Asian countries.

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