Top ten auto events 2013

Monday, Jan 04, 2016 16:14

Biz Hub lists the most notable events of Viet Nam's automobile sector last year:

1. New calculation of special consumption tax

National Assembly deputies did not clear the government's proposal to raise the special consumption tax on vehicles with high engine displacement of 3,000cu.m to 6,000cu.m from 60 per cent to 130 per cent, while reducing taxes on vehicles with engine displacement of under 2,000cu.m by five per cent to 25 per cent.

The government said high engine-displacement vehicles consumed more fuel, while their large sizes were not suitable for the country's traffic infrastructure and were a strain on people's incomes. Further, they produce large amounts of exhaust fumes that pollute the environment.

Meanwhile, the deputies approved another proposal for a new calculation of the special consumption tax, which will be set at par with the importers' price, to replace the current one. The new tax value has been calculated keeping in mind their costs, insurance and freight (CIF) value, plus the current import duty. The move is expected to ensure fairness among automobile importers and domestic assemblers and producers, preventing tax fraud and tax losses to the state's budget.

2. Domestic auto market warms up

A corner of Toyota Motor Viet Nam workshop.

The domestic auto market has warmed up, as evident from the increase in both locally assembled and imported cars in the first 11 months of 2015.

A report by the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association revealed that Vietnamese people bought more than 215,000 cars in the first 11 months, a year-on-year increase of 57 per cent. The number was expected to touch a record 250,000 units.

According to the General Statistics Office, 125,000 cars were imported in 2015, worth US$2.97 billion, a 77 per cent increase in quantity and an 88 per cent increase in value compared with last year.

Viet Nam will reduce its car import tax to zero per cent by 2018, under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement. Cars imported from European Union countries such as Germany, France and Italy will have their import taxes reduced in 2018.

Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which covers 12 countries such as the United States, Canada, Singapore and Australia, as well as Japan, Chile and Viet Nam, import taxes could be reduced by 2016 and wholly eliminated by 2026.

3. Lull in motorbike market

While the auto market ‘boomed' in 2015, the motorbike market was quiet, with the trend moving from manual bikes to automatic bikes and vehicles with high engine displacement.

According to the Vietnam Motorbike Manufacturers' Association, more than 1.3 million motorbikes of various kinds were sold in six months from April to September. Ninety-seven per cent of them were of Honda, Yamaha, Piaggio and Suzuki, besides SYM brands.

There is no report yet of the total sales last year. Experts said although the volume of units sold was high in 2015, it was impossible to achieve the record sales of 3.1 million units in 2012.

4. New car expo opens in Viet Nam

Viet Nam hosted the first-of-its-kind Vietnam International Motor Show in October, showcasing international brands such as Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Land Rover, besides Luxgen, Mini, Porsche and Renault, as well as BAIC from the Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. Ltd.

The show was expected to boost the sales of imported vehicles. The prices of imported cars are expected to rise this year after the finance ministry issues a new calculation of the special consumption tax.

5. Honda VN recalls more than 21,000 cars

Honda Viet Nam recalled 21,181 Civic and CR-V units to check and replace faulty airbags, taking the lead in the number of vehicles to be recalled in the market last year.

As many as 12,118 SH scooters were also recalled to fix a problem with the anti-theft system. The move came after the Vietnam Register requested the motorbike producer to recall these SH scooters to fix the problem, explaining that the error raised the risk of losing the bike.

The company proposed fixing the problem through customer service channels, but VR disagreed and requested a recall of all the affected SH scooters.

6. Mai Linh, AMV ink agreement on electric taxis

The Mai Linh Group and Auto Motors Viet Nam Company (AMV) (the official importer of French car firm Renault) signed a memorandum of understanding on co-operation yesterday in Ha Noi to carry out the project.

About 10,000 to 20,000 electric taxis will be imported from France and will be operated in Viet Nam's three large cities of Ha Noi, Da Nang and HCM City for five years from 2016 to 2021.

The imports will be part of a memorandum of understanding on co-operation that was signed by the Mai Linh Group and Auto Motors Viet Nam Company (AMV) on December 16.

7. Pick-up trucks gain traction in VN

More than 1,330 units of the Ranger were sold in November, more than double the figure of last November and nearly 100 more than the second placed Toyota Vios.

Pick-up trucks were becoming bestsellers in the Vietnamese auto market, thanks to their versatility and low prices and registration fee, auto dealers said.

In a recent report on the auto market in November, the Viet Nam Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA) said for the first time a pick-up -- Ford Ranger -- led the sales, which were traditionally dominated by sedans and SUVs.

More than 7,618 pick-ups were sold in 11 months, accounting for a quarter of the auto market. In November alone, 2,239 units were sold.

Seven players -- Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan NP300 Navara, besides Chevrolet Colorado, Isuzu D-Max and Toyota Hilux – compete in the Vietnamese pick-up market.

8. TPP tariffs on new cars announced

Countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, including Viet Nam, will remove tariffs on new cars in the 13th year after the agreement comes into effect. Most of the locally-assembled cars have engine displacement of under 3,000cc. Meanwhile, tariffs on cars with displacement of 3,000cc and above will be lifted in the 10th year of the TPP.

9. Viet Nam recognises international driving licences

Viet Nam started recognising international driving licences as of October 1. The licences are honoured in 85 countries worldwide. Ha Noi and HCM City were the first areas in the country to issue the licences from October for an estimated VND150,000. The licence will be valid for three years.

10. Expensive Vespa scooter arrives in Viet Nam

The new model, developed to highlight the 40-year Emporio Armani fashion brand and celebrate the 150th birthday of Piaggio, is named Vespa 946 Emporio Armani.

The first Vespa 946 version 2015 of the Emporio Armani brand arrived in Viet Nam. Vespa 946 is the most expensive scooter in the world. Although its price has not been announced, it's predicted not to be lower than that of the expensive Vespa 365 Bellissima of 2014, which was sold for VND365 million — as expensive as a small car — in the Vietnamese market. — VNS

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