Unsold cars inventory doubles as Covid-19 slashes demand

By Anh Minh   May 5, 2020 | 05:10 pm PT
Unsold cars inventory doubles as Covid-19 slashes demand
A VinFast car seen in its factory in the northern city of Hai Phong. Photo by VnExpress/Cao Tuan.
Vietnam’s unsold inventory of locally-assembled cars rose 122.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic severely slashed demand.

Vehicle production fell 10.4 percent year-on-year to 56,200 units, according to a report by the Ministry of Industry and Trade's industry agency.

The value of auto part imports fell 7 percent year-on-year to near $910 million, it added.

The drop in production and sales happened as major car manufacturers and assemblers such as Toyota and Ford closed their factories and dealerships in the first two weeks of April in compliance with the government-ordered social distancing campaign.

Production has now been resumed, but at a low capacity because the unsold rate is still high, industry insiders said.

An earlier report by the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) said car sales of both imported and locally-produced units fell to a five-year low of 52,500  in the first quarter, with double digit drops in sales of domestic producers like Truong Hai Auto (Thaco), Toyota and Honda.

Car imports was also impacted by global travel restrictions. In the first four months, the number of imported completely-built units fell 30 percent to 33,000, according to Vietnam Customs.

Major drops in April were seen from Japan, Thailand and Indonesia, all badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed early April that registration fees on locally-produced cars are reduced by half to boost sales.

It also suggested deferring tax obligations of car manufacturers and assemblers until the end of the first quarter next year.

Vietnam's car sales last year rose 12 percent over 2018 to 322,300 units, according to VAMA.

go to top