Car imports fall back in first quarter

By HQ online, Tuan Dam   April 7, 2016 | 03:30 am PT
Vietnam had imported 14,903 completely built-up automobiles (CBUs) by mid-March this year, a decrease of 4,066 compared with the same period last year.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, imports of complete cars from January to the middle of March decreased notably in the first quarter with turnover falling $60 million to $364 million compared to Q1/2015.


Vietnam imported less CBUs in the first quarter. Photo: VnExpress

Truck imports increased in volume while small imported cars (sedan, SUV, etc.) tumbled sharply.

Specifically, under-nine-seat cars imported to Vietnam in the first quarter reached only 5,649 units, down 3,470, but imported trucks rose to 6,993 vehicles, up 1,057 units compared with the same period last year.

Regarding car exports to the Vietnamese market, Thailand ranked first with 4,731 vehicles worth $80 million as of the end of February, followed by Korea with over 2,000 CBUs worth more than $27 million. Japan exported 1,141 cars ($48 million), while China accounted for 1,180 units ($46 million), mostly trucks.

Beside cooled purchasing power based on the demand reached at the of peak last year, the main reasons for the dip are the impacts of special consumption tax policies and new tax calculations.

At the next National Assembly meeting, the revised Law on Special Consumption Tax may be adopted. This would mean a tax of up to 150 percent on CBUs based on the wholesale price of importers rather than CIF (cost, insurance and freight) plus import tax as before.

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