Vietnam begins to make switch to online car sales

By Doan Dung, Thanh Nhan   July 5, 2021 | 06:57 am GMT+7
Vietnam begins to make switch to online car sales
A customer checks prices of cars online. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nhan.
Three auto brands have begun to sell online as they seek to take advantage of the country’s e-commerce boom.

Since January this year customers have been able to go to the VinFast website, select the model, customize color and interiors, and indicate mode of payment.

They can then go to the nearest showroom to complete the purchase.

VinFast offers to deliver the car to the customers’ doorstep.

Customers who want to pay in installments can submit their profiles online.

Mercedes launched online sales March. Customers can customize their vehicles and a dealership is suggested to them.

The sales procedures are however completed in person.

TC Motor, which assembles Hyundai vehicles, last month began to allow customers to compare its cars online and see how much they cost after promotions, taxes and fees.

Auto companies are actually late in adopting technology in sales, Nguyen Trung Kien, chief technology officer at digital marketing company Novaon MarTech, said.

"When customers become familiar with online transactions, online sales options are inevitable."

It has taken a long time for auto companies to start offering online sales since theirs are expensive products and customers are used to the idea of physically touching them before making a purchase decision, he said.

But with the development of technology, auto manufacturers could now go directly to customers and gradually cut out the middlemen, and also get to know their customers’ needs more, he added.

But industry insiders expect it to take a long time to change customers’ preference from shopping offline for cars to online.

"There are many perks in online shopping for cars but to make the decision customers still need to come to showrooms and see with their own eyes and touch with their own hands," the marketing director of a Japanese auto company in Vietnam, who asked not be identified, said.

In order to reach the same level as Tesla, meaning customers do not need to test drive the cars before making the purchase, auto manufacturers need to first create firm trust in product quality, the marketing director added.

Auto sales in Vietnam rose 53 percent year-on-year in the first five months to 126,894 units, according to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association.

 
 
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