Suzuki mulls launch of car assembly line in Vietnam

Japanese carmaker Suzuki is considering the launch of a tourist car assembly plant in Vietnam in the hope of carving out a portion of the growing Southeast Asian market, according to Toshiyuki Takahara, general director of Suzuki Vietnam.

At a recent press meeting to introduce the opening of an auto component warehouse in southern Dong Nai Province, Takahara said Suzuki is considering plans to assemble tourist cars in Vietnam in response to customer complaints over a lack of authentic spare parts, inconsistent prices, and long repair and maintenance time.

Vietnam is regarded as a major market for the Japanese firm that has responded to the growing economy by introducing several new vehicle models in the last few years. 

Suzuki will likely open a car assembly plant in Vietnam if the company’s success continues in the country, according to Takahara.

The executive also noted that should a future Suzuki assembly plant in Vietnam depend on imported components, car prices could rise above the current cost of completely-built vehicles shipped from abroad.

Regarding recent component shortages, Takahara pointed to Suzuki’s three spare part warehouses in northern and southern Vietnam which stock over 500,000 parts capable of being delivered across the country in just 24 hours.

Suzuki also has plans to build another warehouse in Ho Chi Minh City to meet car and component demands.

Its 37 authorized dealers have been equipped with two warehouses each.

Suzuki’s current tourist car assembly plants are located in Indonesia and Thailand.

Other automakers have expanded their assembly plants in Vietnam, including Ford which invested US$82 million in enlarging its factory in northern Hai Duong Province, raising its capacity to 40,000 from 14,000 units per year.

On September 20, Thanh Cong Group and Hyundai Motors broke ground on the Hyundai Thanh Cong 2 factory in Ninh Binh Province which will be capable of churning out 170,000 vehicles per annum.

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