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Foreign motorbike eye Vietnam   2008-09-09 - VNN

Motorbike manufacturers from abroad are increasingly eyeing this market of 85 million people as incomes rise and vehicle ownership rates soar.

 

Taiwan-based CPI announced it would join the fray through its distributor, Kanglin International Company.

 

 
Kangling will roll out its GTR 150, GTR 170cc, Aragon 125cc and Oliver 125cc models. After successful launches in Europe, the models were introduced to the Asian markets in 2007. Prices for the units range from $2,500 and $4,600.

 

According to Nguyen Ngoc Nga, Chairwoman of Kanglin’s Membership Board, Vietnam’s motorbike market is on the rise, with no signs of slowing down over the short term.

 

Kawasaki also threw its hat into the ring with 174-900 cc models.

 

Vietnam’s entry  into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and scrapping of a ban on high cylinder capacity motorbikes have paved the way for the bike-makers to roll into the country.

 

Foreign motorbike producers in Vietnam are also looking at importing high cylinder capacity models from their parent companies to sell domestically. Meanwhile, US and Italian producers have signaled their desire to cash in.

 

Iconic–maker, Harley Davidson is also rumored to be getting ready to import units at $10-20,000 per model. Scooters and high cylinder capacity models have proven to be the biggest sellers in the country’s big cities.

 

According to the Vietnam Association of Automobile, Motorbike and Bicycle Manufacturers, Vietnam imports 200,000 motorbikes a year. The models are still selling very well in Vietnam despite an import tax of 80%.

 

Consumers look to imports over locally produced models. For example, Honda’s Air Blade, from Thailand and priced at VND50 mil and is selling well despite a locally produced Air Blade retailing for VND28.5mil.

 

Analysts say that scooters will gradually replace motorbikes as the preferred units, with the scooter market growing by 30% per annum.

 

The Vietnam Association of Automobile, Motorbike and Bicycle Manufacturers has estimated that over 500 high cylinder capacity motorbikes have been imported to Vietnam through HCM City so far this year.

 

Some 3.6mil new motorbikes hit the roads in 2007. The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that there are 20 million motorbikes in the country, and that figure will reach 35mil units by 2015.



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