Chinese carmaker SAIC eyes Vietnam expansion

By Pham Trung   July 30, 2019 | 04:30 am PT
Chinese carmaker SAIC eyes Vietnam expansion
Automobiles of brand MG and Roewe from SAIC motor are seen at SAIC's Lingang factory, Shanghai, China. Photo by Reuters/Joseph White.
SAIC Motor International plans to work with Malaysia’s Tan Chong Motor Holdings to expand their Vietnam operations.

The two parties have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore cooperation in the assembly, sales, import and distribution of motor vehicles, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported.

"The proposed project, if materialised, could provide Tan Chong Motor with opportunity to expand its foothold in the automotive industry in Vietnam," the company said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the country’s stock exchange, last Friday.

There is not yet information on whether Tan Chong has been authorized to distribute any of SAIC’s self-owned brands like Maxus, MG and Roewe.

SAIC Motor International is part of the state-owned Shanghai Automobile Group, one of the four biggest automotive corporations in China.

According to China Daily, SAIC sold a total of 7.05 million vehicles in 2018, over 24 percent of the Chinese automobile market, which recorded around 28 million new car sales last year.

In addition to six factories in China, it has assembly plants in the U.K., Thailand and India. The Shanghai-based corporation currently has joint ventures with U.S. carmaker General Motors and German Volkswagen AG in China.

Tan Chong is a multinational corporation headquartered in Malaysia, operating in automobile manufacturing and distribution. The company currently has assembly plants in Vietnam and Myanmar, and license to distribute cars and commercial vehicles in Laos and Cambodia.

In Vietnam, Tan Chong is currently licensed to distribute Subaru brand vehicles. This September, its distribution agreement with Nissan will be terminated under an agreement made last year.

According to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association, a total of 154,273 new automobiles were sold in Vietnam in the first six months of 2019, up 21 percent year-on-year.

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