CBU auto sales rise sharply, locally assembled cars find fewer buyers

The local automobile market saw sales of completely-built-up (CBU) cars surging 210% in the first five months of the year but locally assembled cars found fewer buyers, according to a report by the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA).


In the five-month period, more than 126,600 automobiles were sold, up 22% year-on-year, including 51,180 CBU cars and some 75,500 locally assembled cars.

Thus, the gap between the sales of CBU and locally assembled automobiles narrowed. In previous years, the volume of CBU cars sold in the local market was equal to only a quarter or one-third of locally assembled ones.

Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that CBU automobiles were mainly imported from Thailand and Indonesia, which are exempt from import duties in Vietnam under the ASEAN free trade agreement.

The surge in CBU automobile sales is in line with the market trend as local consumers tend to prefer CBU cars to locally assembled ones, while the duty on CBU automobile imports from regional countries has been slashed to 0% and barriers hindering the import of vehicles, such as Decree 116 on automobile manufacture, assembly, import, maintenance and warranty services, have been removed, noted market watchers.

According to VAMA, automobile sales returned to high growth last month after a plunge in April. Last month, nearly 27,400 vehicles found buyers, up 30% over April and 18% against the same period last year.

The volume included more than 19,500 passenger cars, 7,300 commercial autos and 511 special-use vehicles.

In particular, the sales of automobiles assembled at home increased by 8% last month, while those of CBU vehicles rocketed by 75%.


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