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Vietnam sees sharp decrease in car imports

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HCMC – The number of completely-built-up (CBU) car imports to Vietnam in the year to November dropped significantly by 30.5% compared with the same period last year to over 92,000 units, partly due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs said in a recent report that the country had imported more than 12,000 CBU units, including vehicles with nine seats or more, trucks and specialized vehicles, in November, down 10.4% from the previous month.

The November figure brought the year-to-date cumulative tally to some 92,000 units worth more than US$2 billion, leading to year-on-year declines of 30.5% and 31.2%, respectively.

These imported cars are mostly from Thailand, followed by Indonesia and China.

Local experts were quoted by the news website VnExpress as saying that the falling demand for cars, as well as emerging obstacles to securing spare parts and disrupted operations in automobile factories overseas due to the Covid-19 pandemic are contributing factors to the decline in car imports to Vietnam.

The shift of business strategies from CBU imports to assembly at a number of car models with huge market consumption, such as the Toyota Fortuner, the Honda CR-V and the Mitsubishi Xpander, has also resulted in the decline in CBU imports.

A report from the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association revealed that the sales of domestically assembled cars among its members during the 11-month period dropped by 7% to over 157,000 units.

Similarly, their CBU vehicles suffered a 24% year-on-year decline in sales to some 91,000 units.

Local carmakers spent some US$3.5 billion on automobile spare parts and components mainly from South Korea, Thailand, Japan and China during the same period, down 8.3% from the previous year, according to the report.

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