Vietnam’s car imports down 20 pct in 2018

By Anh Minh   December 18, 2018 | 02:20 am PT
Vietnam’s car imports down 20 pct in 2018
Long lines of cars on Hanoi roads during rush hour are the new norm in the capital as more people ditch motorbikes for the four wheeler. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Vietnam imported 72,650 cars this year, down nearly 20 percent over 2017, according to the Vietnam Customs.

The import value of cars exceeded $1.64 billion this year, up 21 percent year-on-year, the agency said.

Thailand and Indonesia remain major suppliers of Vietnam’s imported cars. From Thailand alone, Vietnam has imported more than 52,170 vehicles worth a combined $1.04 billion since the beginning of the year.

According to customs data, from December 7-13, car imports slowed down by 701 units from the previous week, totaling 2,833 vehicles. Total import value is reported to be $67 million.

Vietnam’s population is around 93 million, larger than South Korea, but car consumption is only around 300,000 units a year, Mike Dunne, an independent industry analyst who has spent more than three decades in Asia, told U.S. television channel CNBC recently.

Most cars sold in Vietnam are foreign brands assembled in the country from kits. But a series of free trade agreements have reduced import duties and are opening up the market. A 30 percent import tax on cars from other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries was scrapped this year.

There are only 358 businesses in the auto industry in Vietnam compared to 2,500 in Thailand, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The ministry also said that Vietnam imports over 90 percent of auto parts.

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