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2008 witnessed biggest ever car sales   2009-01-12 - Viet Nam Net

Sixteen member companies of the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA) reportedly sold 110,186 cars in 2008. Many manufacturers had the impressive growth rate in the year in comparison with 2007.


After the gloomy month of November, when only 5,174 cars were sold, local automobile manufacturers had a better month in December, while the sixteen companies sold 9,239 cars.


Toyota Vietnam, for example, sold 2,605 cars in December, which is an increase of 1,140 cars over November 2008. Honda Vietnam sold 568 cars, an increase of 467 cars over November, while Ford Vietnam 600 cars, up 302, and GM Daewoo 917 cars, up 228.


The car model which saw the highest sales increase in the month was the Innova by Toyota with 1,712 cars sold, representing the increase of approximately 1,000 cars over November 2008. Other models like Capita from GM Daewoo, the 4WD Everest, and Honda Civic also had the sales up two to four times more than in November.


Domestically owned manufacturers like Truong Hai, Vinamotor, and Vinaxuki also saw a sharp increase in sales in December. Truong Hai, for example, sold 1,448 cars, which was double that in November, while Vinaxuki 526 cars, up by 200 and Vinamotor with 1,351, up by 400.


Big price discounts and promotion program have been cited to explain the sales increase in the month. Some models had the price reductions of up to US $4,000 which helped attract more clients.


Customers rushed to purchase cars in December as they fear that the new tax policies changes will lead to the car price increases. They tried to purchase cars in order to avoid the tax increases while they have cars to drive on Tet days.


2008 proved to be the year which witnessed the highest car sales ever with the sales of several manufacturers this year higher by far than the previous year. GM Daewoo had 11,036, up from 7,580, Ford Vietnam with 6,494, up from 5,975, Honda Vietnam had 5,909, up from 4,260, Vinaxuki with 8,070, up from 7,358, Truong Hai had 16,373, up from 11,534 and Vinamotor with 20,887, up from 5,476.


However, some other manufacturers had the sales decrease in 2008 in comparison with 2007, including Mercedes Benz, Vinastar and Isuzu.


Vinastar proved to be the enterprise which saw the sharpest car sales decrease from 4,595 cars in 2007 to 2,925 in 2008, followed by Isuzu from 4,229 cars in 2007 to 3,385 in 2008.


In general, 2008 was a good year for automobile manufacturers, when most of them enjoyed business prosperity and the output increased by approximately 30,000 cars compared to 2007.


The big car sales were obtained mostly in the first half of the last year. According to VAMA, in the first half of 2008, the member companies sold 68,609 cars or 85% of total sales in 2007. The automobile manufacturers only really met difficulties in October and November 2008. 


Imported cars saw sharp increase in 2008. According to the General Statistics Office, in 2008, enterprises imported 50,400 cars of different kinds worth over US $1 billion, a two-fold increase over 2007 when only 22,400 cars were imported.


In 2008, though the import tax on complete built unit (CBU) increased two times in March and April, from 60% to 83%, the volume of imported cars still skyrocketed at that time. Importers tried to import many cars to sell in order to avoid the foretold tax increases.


To date, 15,000 imported cars have reportedly left unsold. However, even if not counting on the 15,000 cars, the number of sold cars exceeded the 140,000 unit threshold in 2008, which made 2008 become the year with the highest ever consumption.


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