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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Covid-19 taking toll on auto market

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HCMC – Many automobile traders have expressed concern over the local auto market this month as the country is fighting the second wave of Covid-19.

Given uncertainties over how long the coronavirus pandemic lasts, car buyers are postponing their purchasing plans. To make matters worse, the seventh month of the lunar calendar begins from August 19, during which Vietnamese consumers traditionally do not buy items or goods of high value such as houses and cars, as it is considered an unlucky lunar month.

Cang Nguyen, an employee at a used car outlet in HCMC, said that his customers have sought to delay their purchase plans even though they had earlier agreed on prices.

The re-emergence of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in several provinces and major cities like Danang, Hanoi and HCMC, has forced consumers to refrain from buying cars, Cang said.

Over the past 15 days, the number of customers visiting the outlet to get information about cars has dropped sharply, Nguyen added.

Facing the same fate, many automobile dealerships have also seen a drop in visitors or buyers.

A representative of a Japanese-branded car outlet in HCMC’s Tan Binh District said that since the second wave of Covid-19 began, the number of customers who entered the outlet has fallen by 20%-30% compared to normal days.

“Due to fears over Covid-19 infections, many customers have restricted non-essential travel,” the representative noted, adding that many other outlets have also encountered poor sales.

“If the Government issues a social distancing order, many car producers and traders will have to suspend their operations as seen during the first wave of Covid-19,” said a representative of a U.S.-branded car outlet.

Thanks to the country’s effective containment of Covid-19, the Vietnamese auto market rebounded step by step, with car sales in May expanding by 62% against April. In June, members of the Vietnam Auto Manufacturers Association sold over 24,000 units, up 24% from the previous month.

However, the local auto market is predicted to lose steam in August due to the rising community spread of the disease.

By Le Hoang

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