Automakers seek tax breaks amid slump caused by pandemic

By Thanh Nhan   March 25, 2020 | 11:00 pm PT
Automakers are seeking tax breaks and fee waivers for buyers to boost demand amid dwindling sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) has asked the government to grant a 50 percent reduction in value-added tax and car registration fees.

The proposal by the association, which consists of 17 automakers including Japan’s Toyota, the U.S.’s Ford and local assembler Thaco, would bring down prices if approved.

Car sales fell 27 percent year-on-year in the first two months to 31,908 units, with the strongest drop of 30 percent being in the below-nine-seat segment.

Thaco’s, Toyota’s and Honda’s sales were down 26 percent, 13 percent and 44 percent, respectively.

Dealers said one of the reasons for the slump was the pandemic keeping prospective buyers away from showrooms.

Most auto brands have delayed or canceled events meant to introduce new products to prevent public gatherings.

Ford announced temporary closure of its plant in northern Vietnam from Thursday to protect its employees.

VAMA said more plants are set to close due to limited imports of materials and parts.

Some experts have not been able to travel to Vietnam since the country has suspended entry for all foreign nationals, it added.

Last year car sales rose 11.7 percent to 322,322 units. 

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