HCMC – Vietnam’s auto imports between January and April surged over the same period last year though they dropped in April, showed data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
The Southeast Asian nation imported over 12,300 completely-built-up (CBU) cars worth US$288 million last month, down 19% in volume and value versus March.
In January-April, it imported more than 54,300 CBU cars with a total value of US$1.2 billion, soaring 47.2% in volume and 33.4% in value year-on-year.
Thailand was Vietnam’s biggest auto exporter in the four-month period, with around 27,150 units worth US$545 million, followed by Indonesia with 19,050 units valued at US$260 million.
The number of cars assembled and manufactured in Vietnam from January to April dipped by 20% over the same period last year at 109,500 units, according to data from the General Statistics Office.
Weak demand drove car sales in the first quarter down 22% year-on-year at nearly 70,400 units. If inventory remains high, it would be difficult for automakers in the country to stabilize production, which would result in capacity and employment cuts.
In early March, industry associations and localities proposed the Government allow for an excise tax payment extension and a 50% registration fee reduction for domestically made and assembled cars. After that, auto importers made the same proposal for their products.
The Ministry of Finance did not endorse the proposal, expressing concern that the car registration fee cut would violate the country’s international commitments and affect budget revenue.
“If their proposals are passed, car consumption may be stimulated but State budget revenue might fall by around VND9,000 billion if the policy is valid in six months, or VND15,000 billion if the registration fee cut is applied to both local car manufacturers and auto importers,” the ministry said.