Vietnam auto sales decline drags it down to 5th place in Southeast Asia

By Pham Trung   May 4, 2023 | 03:11 pm PT
Vietnam auto sales decline drags it down to 5th place in Southeast Asia
Customers check out cars at a Mitsubishi dealer in Binh Tan district, HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Trung
A slump in auto sales last quarter pushed Vietnam from fourth to fifth place in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam has for years been the fourth largest auto market in the region after Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, but suffered a 25% drop in sales in the first three months this year.

Only 86,817 units were sold, according to data from the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association, VinFast and Hyundai Thanh Cong.

Due to the global recession, inflation and gloomy real estate and securities markets, people are more hesitant to buy big-ticket items like cars, and promotions and discounts by manufacturers and dealers have failed to persuade them.

Vietnam and Myanmar saw the biggest declines in Q1, according to the ASEAN Automotive Federation. Myanmar suffered a precipitous drop of 84.8% year-on-year from 3,411 vehicles in Q1 2022 to 519 this year.

The Thai market also declined, albeit by a more modest 6.1%, with sales being 210,000 units.

The Thai automobile industry has seen slow growth since April last year because of rising bank interest rates and other factors such as floods and component shortages, according to automotive magazine Just Auto.

But Indonesia and Malaysia have witnessed steady growth.

In Indonesia, quarterly sales grew at 7% to 280,000 units, which kept it the top market in the region.

Malaysia remained in third place with 190,000 units, a 20.4% increase.

The Philippines took over fourth place with a 30.1% increase to 97,000 cars.

The Singapore market also declined, with sales falling by 4.3% to 10,000.

In auto production, Thailand and Indonesia exchange places, while Malaysia remains in third place.

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