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Cheap Chinese automobiles not welcome in Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge - The General Department of Customs (GDC) reported that 86 Chinese-made cars with fewer than nine seats arrived in Vietnam this month.

VietNamNet Bridge - The General Department of Customs (GDC) reported that 86 Chinese-made cars with fewer than nine seats arrived in Vietnam this month.


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In the week from September 28 to October 4, businesses filed customs declarations for the import of 3,465 cars worth $65.2 million.

CBU (complete built unit) cars imported to Vietnam were mostly sourced from Thailand (2,122), Indonesia (952), Mexico (241) and China (111). The imports from the four markets amounted to 99 percent of total imports of the week.

As for fewer-than-9-seater cars, 1,392 products arrived, worth $25.7 million, accounting for 40 percent of total CBU imports.

CBU (complete built unit) cars imported to Vietnam were mostly sourced from Thailand (2,122), Indonesia (952), Mexico (241) and China (111). The imports from the four markets amounted to 99 percent of total imports of the week.

It was a surprise that fewer-than-9-seater imports from Indonesia were higher than from Thailand (673 vs 608), and that 86 cars came from China.

Vietnam’s enterprises also imported tens of CBU cars from China in April and May, but no cars arrived from May to September. 

Some analysts commented that Vietnamese car dealers continue importing Chinese cars as they hope purchasing power will be higher in the year-end season. 

However, they said demand for Chinese cars is not high and imports will not increase significantly.

Tran Quoc Thanh, the owner of a car showroom in Hanoi, said he doesn’t intend to sell Chinese cars.

“We plan to import cars from some markets, but mostly well-known brands such as Toyota, Honda and Mazda,” he said.

He went on to say that car dealers won’t take risk trading unfamiliar models with little known brands, unless they get financial support from manufacturers.

Another car dealer in Hanoi said he received an invitation to sell Chinese cars. However, Chinese manufacturers have not organized trade promotion activities since then.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Tung Duong, the owner of a car showroom on Nguyen Xien street in Hanoi said he once thought of joining Chinese businesses to sell Chinese cars in Vietnam, but he finally gave up the plan.

The greatest advantage of Chinese products is low price, which could be up to 30 percent cheaper than products of other manufacturers. However, the warranty and dealer support policies are poor.

“They (Chinese manufacturers) may look forward to tariff cuts or they still don’t really want to conquer the Vietnamese market. So they are not running ad campaigns,” he commented.

Duong added that Chinese vehicles have been present in Vietnam for a long time, but are mostly trucks and trailers. China-made cars are not welcome in Vietnam, he added.


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