Auto registration fee cut sparks controversy

By Thanh Nhan   August 20, 2021 | 06:25 pm PT
Auto registration fee cut sparks controversy
Workers assemble Ranger pickup trucks at a Ford plant in the northern province of Hai Duong. Photo courtesy of Ford
The recent proposal to halve registration fees for domestically produced automobiles has stirred a debate between auto firms.

If approved, it will see local products have a price advantage over imports. So, while it has found support among companies that manufacture in Vietnam, who see it as an opportunity to increase sales amid the prolonged COVID-19 outbreaks, companies that import vehicles called it unfair.

The fee cut is part of a decree drafted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment to support the industry amid the pandemic.

Subaru Vietnam said: "We hope that the government will also have measures to assist car importers and buyers in this difficult period."

Audi Vietnam said: "We want the registration fee cut to be applied to both [locally assembled and imported] automobiles."

Volvo and Volkswagen also called for a level playing field.

In March, the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association had called on the Ministry of Finance for a similar cut for both local products and imports, but the ministry rejected it, saying it was not appropriate. VAMA made a similar demand in July.

A Japanese automobile company, a member of VAMA, said it would be difficult for the government to cut the fee for both vehicles.

According to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, its members sold over 135,600 vehicles in the first half, up 32 percent. The numbers do not include the sales of Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, Subaru, Volkswagen, Volvo and some others, who did not reveal their numbers.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the country imported over 81,100 complete built-up vehicles in the six-month period, a 100.5 percent increase.

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