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Thursday,  Apr 26,2018,14:27 (GMT+7)

VAMA says 2017 auto sales down 10%

Hung Le
Thursday,  Jan 11,2018,18:09 (GMT+7)
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VAMA says 2017 auto sales down 10%

Hung Le

Models stand next to cars at an exhibition. As many as 272,750 automobiles were sold in 2017, a 10% decrease against the previous year - PHOTO: HUNG LE

HCMC – Last year saw 272,750 automobiles sold in Vietnam, a 10% decrease against 2016, according to a report which the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) released on January 10.

The report shows over 27,800 cars found buyers last month, up 13% compared to the previous month, but down 16% from a year earlier. This number included more than 20,000 locally assembled vehicles and 7,800 imported ones, up 13% and 11% respectively.

Auto consumption last year was not what the association had expected. VAMA predicted a full-year sales pickup of 10%.

However, the auto sales volume last year was still 27,800 units higher than in 2015,  and ranked second behind the 2016 result only in as many years.

The report also reveals that auto sales declined in various segments last year compared to 2016. In particular, the numbers of passenger, commercial, and special-use vehicles sold were over 154,200, 104,600 and 13,800 respectively, down 15%, 2% and 12%.

Meanwhile, the number of imported completely-built-up (CBU) autos rose by 9% year-on-year to 77,790 while that of locally assembled equivalents dropped by 19% to roughly 195,000.

Industry insiders ascribed the decline in the 2017 auto sales to the wait-and-see attitude of many consumers who expect to benefit from import tariffs on CBUs from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) falling to zero from the previous 30%.

In other words, they said, the downtrend in auto sales on the domestic auto market was only temporary and the market holds great potential. Therefore, it is likely the auto market will see strong growth this year and next.

Despite the tariff is down to zero, enterprises still find it difficult to import CBUs as they are required to produce auto quality certificates issued by foreign authorities in line with Government Decree 116/2017/ND-CP on manufacture, assembly and import of autos, which also comes into force early this year. Such certificates do not exist in many countries, even in Japan and the United States.

Many CBUs for sale on the local market are imported prior to this year, and therefore are still subject to the 30% import tariff. As a result, their prices do not significantly decrease as expected.

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