Viet Nam’s automobile imports slow in January

Monday, Mar 01, 2021 08:32

Cars imported from ASEAN countries via Hiep Phuoc port in HCM City.— Photo

Viet Nam spent US$213 million importing cars in January, a 34.3 per cent drop compared to the previous month, reports the General Department of Customs.

The main markets are Thailand with 4,341 units, China (1,463 units) and Indonesia (1,437 units), accounting for 87 per cent of the country’s total imported cars.

Nine-seater passenger vehicles or passenger cars of under nine seats are 5,203 units worth nearly $102 million, accounting for 62.4 per cent.

The number of vehicles with less than nine seats imported dropped by 27.4 per cent in January or a decrease of 1,965 units compared to December 2020.

For transport vehicles, the import volume stood at 2,230 units worth $60.6 million, down 48.6 per cent in volume and 40.9 per cent in value compared to December. January also saw an import volume of 907 special use vehicles valued at $50 million. Of this figure, 736 units were imported from China via the northern border gate of Lang Son of Viet Nam, accounting for 81 per cent of the total number of this type imported into the country.

For auto components and spare parts, the report said value reached $385 million, a $142 million drop compared to $527 million in December last year.

The main markets supplying auto components for Viet Nam are South Korea, China, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Germany,and Malaysia. In which, imports from South Korea reached $114 million; China ($73.3 million), Thailand ($59.4 million) , Japan ($58 million), India ($23.3 million) and Indonesia ( $15 million).

Auto parts and spare parts imports reached $344 million, accounting for 89 per cent of the total import value of auto parts and spare parts of the country in the past month.

Fourth largest market in Southeast Asia

Viet Nam's localisation rate for passenger cars of under nine seats is 7–10 per cent, much lower than the target of 35–45 per cent set for the car industry 20 years ago.

Viet Nam’s automobile market currently ranks fourth in Southeast Asia in sales volume and domestic production capacity, according to ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF).

With nearly 300,000 cars sold in 2020, Viet Nam overtook the Philippines to become the fourth largest automobile market in Southeast Asia.

The AAF complied the data provided by automobile associations from countries in the region, except for Timor Leste, Laos and Cambodia.

In 2020, the region posted a combined sales volume of new vehicles at 2,453,808, down 29 per cent year-on-year due to impacts of COVID-19.

Brunei became the only ASEAN member country to post an increase in car sales from January to November last year.

It said economic activities across the region were severely disrupted by business and social lockdowns imposed to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The automobile industry was one of the worst-affected markets in the region last year.

Motor vehicles sold in ASEAN declined 29 per cent to 2.45 million units from January till November 2020 from 3.46 million units in the previous year. — VNS

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