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Illustrative photo

The Vietnam market has been eyed by China, which has 123 automobile manufacturers, producing 40 million products per annum, but only selling 22 million cars domestically.

Chinese cars flooded Vietnam in 2023, including Haval (GWM), Lynk & Co (Geely), Wuling Mini EV (SGMW) and Haima. Other manufacturers are going to enter Vietnamese market in the time to come, including BYD, Chery (Omoda and Jaecoo) and GAC (Aion).

Vietnam has potential as an automobile market with a population of 100 million and  strong economic growth. Analysts predicted that 1 million cars will be sold in Vietnam in 2023 and 1.5 million by 2035. 

The government of Vietnam has set a roadmap of gradually reducing and then stopping the manufacture, assembly and import of vehicles using fossil fuel. All vehicles in Vietnam will use electricity and green energy by 2050. This offers great opportunities for electric vehicle manufacturers.

China is leading the world in electric vehicle manufacturing. All 123 automobile manufacturers in China have at least one EV model.

However, the Vietnamese market is a great challenge for Chinese manufacturers because Vietnamese consumers don’t favor Chinese products.

As for cars using an internal combustion engine, Vietnamese consumers favor Japanese, American and South Korean brands. The internal combustion engines of Chinese manufacturers are unreliable, lack durability, and consume too much fuel, they believe..

Chinese manufacturers are believed to have advantages in EV. However, recent information about quality problems of BYD’s EV exports to Europe, when they could not get customs clearance, are causing potential Vietnamese buyers of low-cost Chinese cars to rethink their decision.

The underdevelopment of charging stations in Vietnam is another reason for slower electric car sales.

As anticipated, Chinese cars have been selling slowly. A Chinese brand hit the Vietnamese market in the second half of 2023 and to date, no more than 20 products have been sold.

According to experts, whether Chinese manufacturers succeed in the Vietnamese market will depend on two factors: Can Chinese manufacturers persuade Vietnamese clients to overcome their reservations to spend money on Chinese brands? Can Chinese cars bring outstanding value to consumers compared with its rivals?

Just one month after its official launch, Haima 7X price was cut by VND100 million. The total discount clients can enjoy was VND150 million if counting service packages.

Hoang Hiep