Car imports skyrocket in first quarter

Vietnam imported 39,000 vehicles in the first quarter this year compared to only 4,000 in the same period in 2018.


The General Department of Customs said cars accounted for the vast majority of them, 27,422 units, up 778 percent over the same period last year.

The massive growth in imports indicates the market is bouncing back from the lows of 12 months ago when a government decree set tough conditions.

To import, it requires dealers to provide vehicle registration certificates issued by authorities in the countries of origin.

Economist and former head of the Ministry of Finance’s Price and Market Research Institute, Ngo Tri Long, said the decree also has strict regulations related to testing and vehicle type approval from exporting countries, thus increasing the effort and time required for import and delivery.

By the end of the first quarter dealers were offering discounts and other promotions as the market became awash with cars.

Since March cars like Toyota Fortuner, Honda CR-V and Toyota Wigo come with gifts and discounts.

Thailand is Vietnam’s biggest seller, accounting for 25,954 units. Indonesia was second with 9,503. Imports from these two countries are tax-free under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA).

According to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA), domestically assembled car sales increase by 160 percent compared to February and 54 precent over the same period in 2018.


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