Major brands have no cars to supply Vietnam customers

By Doan Dung, Thanh Nhan   March 18, 2022 | 12:07 am PT
Major brands have no cars to supply Vietnam customers
Customers look at a car at a Toyota dealership in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Trung
Major auto brands in Vietnam are facing supply challenges in distributing autos and parts due to the global semiconductor shortage and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Toyota sold zero Hilux pickup trucks last month as its inventory has run out and there's been no new arrival. Hilux is produced overseas and imported into Vietnam as a completely-built unit.

The SUV Toyota Raize, another trending car of the Japanese brand, is expected to be delivered within six or seven months, dealers say.

"Some models might face shortages until the end of the year," said a sales official at a Toyota dealership in HCMC.

This is a new situation for popular car models. In the past, slow deliveries happened because of administrative and customs issues, not because foreign factories were unable to deliver the cars.

American brand Ford said that the shortage of parts was delaying delivery of its popular SUV Explorer to Vietnam.

Mitsubishi has also seen reduced supply of its SUVs Pajero Sport and Triton imported from Thailand.

"Major brands make plans three or four months in advance to mitigate any supply issue that might occur. But if this shortage of parts persists, we won’t get the expected sales," said Vo Thanh Tai, Mitsubishi Vietnam's head of marketing.

The production of new cars has been impacted globally over the last two years because of the pandemic, resulting in a shortage of the chips used to control everything from powertrains to digital safety systems.

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis has brought greater challenges to the industry. It is set to lower global light-duty vehicle production by 2.6 million units for this year and the next, according to S&P Global Mobility.

Globally, buyers of cars that have a lot of electronics have to wait longer than those who buy vehicles with relatively less technology. In the U.S., some brands are delivering cars with missing electronics parts such as screens with a promise they will deliver them when they are available again.

In Japan, buyers of Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX600 will have to wait for up to four years. This is because the conflict has caused logistical and supply chain problems as well as shortages of vehicle components.

Many automakers source wire harnesses used in vehicles for electrical power and communication between parts from Ukraine.

Luxury brands have also been impacted. Lexus and Porsche customers say that they have to wait for six to nine months, and in some cases, for 12 months or more, in order to get their cars.

Customers of Mercedes and BMW are also having to wait for months to get the vehicles they’ve ordered.

The delay is longer for cars that have many electronics parts as factories do not have enough chips to make them.

For cars that are assembled in Vietnam, the shortage of parts is causing sales to plunge.

The popular pickup truck Ford Ranger saw sales in February dropping to a record low of 230 units.

South Korea’s Hyundai, whose cars are assembled in Vietnam by TC Motors, are unable to meet customers’ demand for the Tucson and Santa Fe models as they require many electronic parts.

For Kia cars, customers are having to wait for one to four months.

Vietnamese automaker VinFast is also having difficulties in delivering its electric cars though it has orders for 65,000 units globally. The company expects to resolve the issue this summer.

Vietnam’s auto sales rose 34 percent year-on-year in the first two months to 53,544 units with four out of the country’s top five brands posting double-digit increases.

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