Coronavirus claims one more victim: auto sales

By Thanh Nhan   March 13, 2020 | 06:00 pm PT
Coronavirus claims one more victim: auto sales
Cars and motorbikes stranded on a street in southern An Giang Province. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Car dealers are reporting plummeting sales as the coronavirus epidemic keeps prospective buyers away from showrooms.

Car sales in the first two months fell 27 percent year-on-year to 31,908 units, with the strongest drop, 30 percent, being in the below-nine-seat segment, according to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA).

Domestic automaker Truong Hai Auto (Thaco) retained the top, but saw its sales dropped 26 percent year-on-year to 10,740 units.

Toyota came second with 8,605 units, down 13 percent, followed by Honda with 3,322 units, down 44 percent.

Quoc Tuan, a salesman for Hyundai in HCMC, said last month he did not sell a single vehicle.

"Demand tends to decrease after Tet [Lunar New Year holiday from January 23-29], and the disease is making even fewer people want to go to showrooms."

Hoai Anh, a Ford salesman in the city, said sales at his showroom had dropped by half since few customers show up.

The marketing director of a Japanese auto company, who asked not be identified, said customers are waiting for the epidemic to be controlled since it threatens the economy.

"With few customers going to showrooms, sales agents struggle to persuade them and finalize deals."

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

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