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“Black box” promises fat profit to manufacturers   2011-06-12 - Lao Dong

Two or three years ago, some enterprises decided to spend money to research and develop vehicle monitoring devices, or “black box”. And now it’s the time for them to “pick fruits”.





From July, 2011, under the government’s Decree No 91: automobiles, including coaches, running on the routes with distances of over 500 kilometers, container vehicles, passenger cars, have to install black boxes. Many businessmen believe that the new decision is a golden opportunity for them to make profits.




Black boxes cheap or expensive?




In 2009, a black box on the Vietnamese market was priced between 4.5-7 million dong. The prices prove to stay firm with boxes being sold at 200-300 dollars. The products are the imports under the mode of complete built units (CBU) or assembled in Vietnam with the accessories imported from China or Malaysia. Those enterprises, which have made thorough research on the products, have provided additional software and solutions.




Ngo Duc Hoang, Director of the Vietnam National University Integrated Circuit Design Research and Education Center (ICDREC), said he cannot understand why black boxes are so expensive on the market, while ICDREC can make the products at the price of no more than 2.5 million dong for each. ICDREC has churned out 1300 black boxes in a trial basis.




According to Hoang, ICDREC can make the product at the low costs, because it can master the technology. Especially, the center can research and design chips for the black boxes. He thinks that the current prices of 200-300 dollars (4-6 million dong) really put a heavy burden on enterprises.




Ta Cong Thuan, Director of the Vinh Hien Trade and Electronics Company in HCM City, a manufacturer of black boxes, said that the price of Vinh Hien’s black boxes is 3-4 million dong on average. However, if clients require additional functions for the black boxes, they have to pay more money.




“Some enterprises order additional software, cameras, or the function of measuring consumed fuel and temperature. In this case, the sale prices could be 6-7 million dong,” Thuan said.




New big cake for Vietnamese manufacturers




Analysts have commented that the new regulation promises to bring fat profits to black box manufacturers.




Under a decision released by the Ministry of Transport, the black boxes of vehicles must be connected with hand mobile printers. This means that the enterprises, which are now using the black boxes without this function, will have to give up the current use devices and purchase new products, or try to upgrade the current black boxes, which will cost money.




Hundreds of transport enterprises have been using thousands of black boxes to serve their management work for the last several years. The problem is that even though the thousands of black boxes are still in good conditions, they will be given away, because they do not have the feature requested by the Ministry of Transport.




This explains why the black box market has become bustling recently. However, analysts believe that the market would be even more boisterous in some more days, when the regulations on inspection standards come into the public.




To date, Vinh Hien has got more than 1000 clients, both individuals and enterprises which need to install black boxes for their car fleet




There are many Vietnamese enterprises among the black box manufacturers and distributors. Therefore, analysts have every reason to believe that Vietnamese manufacturers will dominate the domestic market in the upcoming time.




Hoang from ICDREC said his center has agreed to cooperate with the Saigon Industrial Corporation to set up a joint venture to make black boxes, which may make debut in July. ICDREC is trying to find out the solution to improve the feature of saving fuel of the black boxes. It is also planning to reduce the production cost to below one million dong.

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