Viet Nam's top 10 auto events of 2014

Wednesday, Dec 31, 2014 14:52

Biz Hub has identified the most notable events of the year for Viet Nam's automobile sector:

1.The Vietnam Motor Show 2014 saw record sales with more than 560 sales contracts signed during the five-day event, double the number recorded at the 2013 show. This trend is seen as a positive indicator of the domestic automobile industry's recovery.

2. The Vietnam Motorbike Festival 2014 attracted many famous brands including Ducati, KTM and Benelli. The event organiser held two competitions: Art of Speed and Pimp My Ride. The Art of Speed contest was open to beautiful motorbike models modified by motorbike enthusiasts. The winner, who received the "best of the best" award, was chosen according to criteria such as design concept, the style of fine-tuning, the body kit, the graphic design, and the accessories. Meanwhile, the Pimp My Ride contest evaluated the most unique design ideas of the year. Based on the submitted concept and design sketch, the organiser selected the best entry and put the designer in touch with producers seeking good designs.

3. The Vietnam General Statistics Office reported that the country had spent US$1.57 billion to import 72,000 cars in 2014, a record number for Viet Nam.

4. The Ministry of Finance (MoF) tightened regulations that allow Vietnamese citizens returning from overseas (Viet kieu) to import automobiles as movable assets. While vehicles imported by the Viet kieu will be exempt from import duty, they will still face other taxes and fees, including special consumption and value-added taxes and a vehicle registration fee. The new circular is aimed at preventing trade fraud as many expensive cars have been imported into the country in recent times, marked as the private assets of Viet Kieu, when in fact, they were new vehicles imported by traders who wanted to take advantage of legal loopholes.

5. Domestic automobile businesses were barred from importing used cars, carriers and special-purpose vehicles that have been in use for five years or more. The new regulation was laid down in Circular 04, issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, detailing the Government's Decree 187/2013/ND-CP on international goods and purchases, processing and transit agency activities with foreign countries. The automobile businesses can import used 16-seat cars through international ports, including Cai Lan in northern Quang Ninh Province, Hai Phong, Da Nang, and HCM City, as well as Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Meanwhile, they are not allowed to import used ambulances.

6. Automobile manufacturers established an "automobile board" to protect domestic producers in anticipation of tax cuts on imported vehicles in 2015. These manufacturers included Vietnam Engine and Agricultural Machinery Corporation, Vietnam Motors Industry Corporation, Saigon Transportation Mechanical Corporation (SAMCO), and Truong Hai Auto Corporation. Vinaxuki Automobile Company, Factory Z179 and MDC Center were also part of the board. The firms will focus on developing their own strengths, while those that cannot produce spare parts, devices and components for vehicles will outsource the work to other firms.

7. A series of luxury cars imported from the brands' official suppliers made a debut in the domestic market. These include the Rolls-Royce Phantom, priced at VND30 billion ($1.4 million); the Bentley Continental GTC, $656,000; the Mercedes Maybach S600, almost VND9.7 billion ($461,900); and the Porsche Panamera Turbo, VND8.38 billion ($393,000). Also on the list is the BMW 760Li, priced at VND6.8 billion ($323,809), and the Audi A8L, priced between VND4.4 billion ($209,500) and VND4.8 billion ($228,571), as well as the Lamborghini Aventador, for which prices have not yet been reported.

8. A large number of vehicles was recalled in 2014. More than 42,770 Toyota Innova and Fortuner cars were recalled for checking and replacing the spiral cable of the driver's airbag, 35,850 Jupiter and Sirius motorbikes from Yamaha Vietnam were recalled to correct a defect in the rear brake light, 1,189 BMW vehicles were recalled for faulty airbags, and 14,291 Vespa scooters from Piaggio Vietnam were recalled to check for and repair possible fuel pipe defects. In addition, more than 180 Audi A4 models were recalled due to faulty airbags.

9. The 10th Saigon International Autotech and Accessories show (Saigon Autotech and Accessories) attracted nearly 300 local and foreign firms from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia, as well as Taiwan, India, the United States and the European Union. Products on display included spare parts, accessories, car interiors, and oil and lubricants. Also on display were luxury cars, passenger cars, special vehicles, and motorcycles, as well as scooters, mopeds, and assembly and maintenance equipment.

10. Car drivers can now fuel their vehicles themselves as part of a pilot project that began at two filling stations in Ha Noi city. The two stations are located at No. 1 Tran Quang Khai Street, Hoan Kiem District, and No. 71 Xuan Thuy Street, Cau Giay District. A number of customers found self-service fuelling was quicker than the traditional fuelling service, but others believed it would not be easy to expand the self-service programme within the city as most of the filling stations are small, the roads are narrow and traffic jams occur daily. — VNS

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