The MPV race hot in Vietnam

By Thanh Nhan   March 30, 2023 | 03:37 pm PT
Sales of multi-purpose vehicles have nearly tripled in the last five years, while the number of models in the market has nearly doubled.

Starting in 1999, with the likes of Toyota Zace and Mitsubishi Jolie, the MPV segment in Vietnam has been the main battleground for of Japanese and Korean brands.

Over the last 20 years more than 20 other models have come and gone, with sales increasing rapidly.

Until 2018 Toyota dominated the segment with its Innova though it was the largest and most expensive car. Innova held a 78% market share, selling 14,581 units in 2018.

But since, the situation has changed completely with the entry of new and more trendy options.

In 2018 the import tax on vehicles from ASEAN countries was abolished, and companies began to import their cars from other Southeast Asian countries.

Toyota started the trend with names like Avanza and Rush, but the most notable entrant was Mitsubishi Xpander, which took the throne from Innova and started a new MPV wave.

An Xpander 2023 model in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by: Pham Trung

An Xpander 2023 model in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/ Pham Trung

With the lower costs, MPVs like Xpander, Ertiga, Avanza, and Rush began to be used commercially especially by service and family businesses.

Between 2018 and 2022 sales of MPV nearly tripled from 18,650 to 53,026 units.

The number of models available now testifies to the vibrancy of the segment. In 2018 there were only four: the Chevrolet Orlando, Toyota Innova, Kia Rondo, and Suzuki Ertiga.

Of the MPVs coming to Vietnam since 2018, the Xpander has had the most success. In 2019 it set a new record by selling more than 20,000 units. In 2022 it broke that record again by exceeding 22,000.

Other cars like Toyota's Veloz and Avanza have also been exceedingly well.

Veloz, Toyotas most popular MPV model in Vietnam. Photo by: Toyota Vietnam (TMV)

Veloz, Toyota's most popular MPV model in Vietnam. Photo by Toyota Vietnam (TMV)

With its new, modern design, more equipment and competitive price, the Veloz sold more than 14,100 units in 2022 despite entering the market only in April.

Avanza’s sales were lower, but managed to top 3,500 units.

Since Innova's decline in 2018 the Japanese company had never sold more than 10,000 MPVs in a year until the Veloz came.

A Japanese sales manager from Mitsubishi said at a meeting with the media in Ho Chi Minh City a few months ago: "Demand for MPVs will not slow down in the next three or four years. Sales will continue to increase and attract many more brands, and so the Xpander will face challenges in maintaining its current leading position."

At the end of last year Thanh Cong Group imported the Hyundai Stargazer and then proceeded to assemble it domestically.

Truong Hai Auto Corp. stopped selling the Kia Rondo and replaced it with the Carens.

This year Honda is expected to bring back its BR-V in June, and Chinese automaker Haima will introduce its 7X in the second half.

With the burgeoning competition in the MPV segment, customers are set to benefit.

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