South Korean cars dethrone Japanese as Vietnam’s most popular

By Thanh Nhan   February 20, 2020 | 05:51 pm PT
South Korean cars dethrone Japanese as Vietnam’s most popular
South Korea's Hyundai Accent and Japan's Toyota Vios, the two most-sold car models in January. Photo by VnExpress/Huy Duc.
South Korean cars have surged past their Japanese rivals to the top spot in Vietnam, with six of them making the top 10 list.

In the January list of top selling cars compiled by the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA), the Accent, a subcompact made by South Korea’s Hyundai, sold 1,733 units to take over as the most popular from Japan’s Toyota Vios (1,598 units), which had been number one since 2014.

The two models are direct competitors in the B-segment (small family car), and this is the first time the Accent has topped sales.

Hyundai’s small-size urban Grand i10 was in third place with 1,586 units. Last year it was the most popular A-segment (mini car) model, accounting for over 45 percent of sales in the segment.

According to industry insiders, South Korean cars generally have lower brand recognition and are less renowned than Japanese cars for quality and reliability.

But South Korean manufacturers are constantly changing designs and functions in their vehicles, and have greater flexibility in pricing, which helps them attract customers, they said.

A total of 15,787 vehicles were sold in Vietnam in January, down 52 percent from the previous month and 53 percent year-on-year, according to VAMA.

The business group attributed the decline in sales to the Lunar New Year (Tet) holidays, when the country took a week off (January 23-29).

The festival is usually a quiet period for the auto market, with people tending to buy cars around a month before it and sales falling subsequently, it added.

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