The number of completely built-up (CBU) cars imported into Vietnam in October is only 2,000 with an import value of some US$50 million, unchanged in volume but falling US$12 million in value compared to the preceding month.
The import volume in October is also equal to the figures in July and August, with a small difference of some millions of U.S. dollars in values.
Since January, the monthly CBU car import volume has always been around 2,000 units. Imports in the first ten months totaled 22,000 units worth some US$498 million, down 54% in volume and 44.9% in value against the same period last year.
This development is not surprising as many adverse changes have been made in the policy for car import in particular and the automotive market in general, said observers.
Changes in new car import procedures and adjustments in taxes on used cars in 2011 under Circular 20 of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Decision 36 of the Prime Minister directly affects auto import and gradually eliminates unofficial importers.
In addition, the hike in car registration and license plate fees in early this year, along with a scheme on personal vehicle restriction and downtown entrance fees, deal a hard blow to both auto importers and assemblers.
The Ministry of Transport has reassured auto traders and consumers that it would take a couple of years until the scheme can go ahead. This reassurance, together with massive promotions of auto firms in recent months, still cannot prop up the market
Local auto assemblers said auto part imports in the past ten months had dropped by 30-40% year-on-year due to the market slump.
Although the final months of the year are considered the season for car trading, some businesses forecast it would be difficult for the market to revive in the current difficult economic situation.
The Saigon Times Daily