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Indonesia overtakes Thailand to become Vietnam’s top car supplier in August

By Ha Phuong   September 17, 2017 | 11:40 pm PT
Tariff cuts under a regional trade deal are making cars from Southeast Asia more affordable in Vietnam.

Indonesia dethroned Thailand to dominate Vietnam’s car market in August, with Toyota and Ford among the most popular brands, according to Vietnam Customs.

Nearly 3,000 made-in-Indonesia cars flooded into Vietnam in August, compared to 438 units during the same period last year, official data showed. Most of the vehicles had nine seats and below.

Thailand was the runner-up, exporting 2,000 cars to Vietnam, followed by China with 800 units.

The import tariff on cars from Thailand and Indonesia was cut to 30 percent from 40 percent at the start of this year, according to tax authorities. As a result, many imported cars are now 7 percent cheaper, ranging from $18,000-19,000.

Vietnam’s car imports in August soared 13 percent from the previous month to about 7,800 units worth $190 million, customs data shows.

However, Thailand still leads the way so far this year, followed by Indonesia and China.

Vietnam imported at total of 65,485 cars in the first eight months, down 5 percent on-year. Over 60 percent of those came from Thailand and Indonesia.

The surge in imports from Southeast Asian countries is expected to continue when the import tariff on cars is abolished at the start of 2018 under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement.

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