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BMW assembly on the anvil, says Vietnam auto conglomerate

By Minh Hy   December 24, 2018 | 05:12 am PT
BMW assembly on the anvil, says Vietnam auto conglomerate
Truong Hai Auto is currently the sole distributor of BMW cars in Vietnam. Photo by Reuters
THACO, a major player in the country’s commercial vehicle segment, plans to assemble German brand BMW cars in Vietnam.

Tran Ba Duong, chairman of the Truong Hai Auto Corporation (THACO), said at a conference last week that BMW cars will be the next vehicle that THACO assembles in the country, following other brands like Peugeot, Kia and Mazda.

He did not reveal further details about when this would happen and what models would be assembled.

THACO became the sole authorized distributor of BMW in Vietnam starting January this year, after Ho Chi Minh City-based Euro Auto lost its license for smuggling 133 BMW cars in December 2016.

Duong had said earlier that he plans to open 15 BMW and MINI (a car brand owned by BMW) showrooms by early next year. However, the company currently runs only one BMW showroom in Hanoi, another in HCMC and one MINI showroom, also in HCMC.

THACO has not revealed its revenue from selling BMW cars this year, but a source told VnExpress that the company sold almost 400 vehicles in the first half of this year. Euro Auto, at its peak, sold 1,400 BMW and 400 MINI cars a year.

BMW cars were first assembled in Vietnam in 1995 by the VMC company in Hanoi. However, low sales led to the factory’s shutdown in 2005, and VMC had to spend two years selling its inventory.

Mercedes-Benz is currently the only luxury car brand that assembles its vehicles in Vietnam, and it tops domestic market sales in this segment. Industry insiders say that if BMW cars are assembled in the country again, they could emerge a strong competitor, especially in terms of price.

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