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Monday,  Feb 26,2018,02:34 (GMT+7)

Too appealing to leave

The Saigon Times Daily
Sunday,  Jan 28,2018,21:08 (GMT+7)
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Too appealing to leave

The Saigon Times Daily

The recent decisions by two major Japanese automakers – Toyota and Honda – to suspend auto shipments to Vietnam might have caught consumers by surprise. The rationale behind their move is the strict regulations provided in Government Decree 116.

The decree requires auto importers in the country to have vehicle type approval (VTA) certificates issued by authorities in exporting countries, which importers say is tough to get one as authorities in many countries do not issue such certificates.

Some might think Toyota and Honda may be abandoning the Vietnamese market but others argue they will not go as the local market has remained as attractive as ever and this sounds convincing.

In recent years, imports of cars from regional countries, especially Thailand and Indonesia, have picked up significantly. Last year alone saw auto imports from these two nations accounting for a staggering 61% of the total, and leading auto importers included Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Suzuki, according to a report by news website Dan Tri.

Customs data indicates Vietnam imported nearly 17,000 cars from Indonesia in 2017, up by a whopping 13,000 units against the previous year, and more than 38,000 cars from Thailand, up by around 4,000 units.

Meanwhile, car imports from Germany, the UK, Japan, South Korea and India dropped. The fall in car imports from India was caused by a shift to assembly of Korean vehicles in Vietnam such as Hyundai, Tucson and Santa Fe to lower prices.

The scandal involving Euro Auto, former BMW importer and distributor, accused of smuggling, fraud and sale of cars without clear origin affected BMW car imports into Vietnam. Lower car imports from Japan were due to a 40% decline in Lexus shipments to Vietnam.

The models imported chiefly from Thailand last year included Toyota Yaris, Altis, Land Cruiser; Honda CRV, Accord, Civic, Ford Ranger and Everest. Vietnam chiefly imported Toyota’s Fortuner and Suzuki’s Ertiga from Indonesia.

The strong rises in car imports from Indonesia and Thailand prove that Vietnam is still a potential market.
Therefore, the domestic market remains too attractive to leave overnight as the number of middle class and affluent consumers is steadily growing in line with the country’s economic expansion, hence the stronger demand for car ownership. Toyota and Honda will certainly find alternative ways to stay on.

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Giấy phép Báo điện tử số: 321/GP-BTTT, cấp ngày 26/10/2007
Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Pham Huu Chuong
Managing Editors: Nguyen Van Thang, Huynh Cam Tung
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