Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vietnam auto imports rise dramatically

More imports cool HCM City auto market down
16:45' 19/09/2007 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – The increased number of car imports, both brand new and used, has helped cool the market down.

The HCM City and Ba Ria-Vung Tau customs agencies have reported a considerable increase in the number of imported cars recently, which shows the positive impact of the Ministry of Finance’s decision to cut the tax on imported cars.

According to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA), the number of units sold by the association has increased by 80% so far this year compared to the same period last year. In August 2007 alone, VAMA members sold 6,559 units, which reflected the overly hot market.

However, the market has cooled a little since the decision on tax cuts became effective on August 8, 2007. The Phu My Port Customs Sub-agency under the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Agency said that it had cleared nearly 400 imported cars of different kinds, valued at nearly $6mil, nearly double the figure of the same period last year.

HCM City has also witnessed a considerable increase of used and brand new imports (less than 16-seat cars). Over 700 units have gone through the Saigon Port No 1 Customs Sub-agency so far this year, and most of the imports came in July and August, when the market seriously lacked cars. The Saigon Port No 3 Customs Sub-agency has cleared 44 imported cars worth more than $1mil.

Analysts say that the demand for imported brand new models, namely Lexus, BMW and Mercedes, has been increasing sharply recently. The Tan Son Nhat Airport Customs Sub-agency said that by the end of August it had cleared 310 units. The importers of the cars said that they made the import deals under orders placed by individual clients. Analysts have forecast the trend of favouring brand new imports over used imports.

Car dealers these days are talking much about the recent appearance of two more super-aristocratic Rolls Royce Phantoms in Vietnam.

The first one, white, manufactured in 2006, a used car, was imported by N.M.H, who declared that the car was imported as a non-merchant article. According to the HCM City Customs Agency, the car is valued at $216,000, and the total tax sum the importer has to pay is VND3bil ($187,500).

The second one is dark blue, manufactured in 2005, a used car, was imported by Chanh Loc Trade and Import-Export Company Ltd. The importer declared that the import price was $118,000, but the declared price has not been accepted by customs agencies. The two said Phantoms are still being kept at the VICT store.

In the latest news about super cars, car dealers have whispered in each others’ ears that an Audi R8 just arrived at Tan Son Nhat Airport on September 18.

The super Audi R8 came from Germany with the basic price of $109,000, being the direct rivals to big names like Porsche 911, Carrera 4S, Aston Martin V8 or BMW M6.

After the first super car Maybach 62 appeared in Vietnam at the end of 2006, Vietnam’s market has been witnessing the appearance of many other super models. It is estimated that some 10 super models are present in Vietnam, each of which has the value of VND10bil ($0.62mil).

Bentley is the name which has been mentioned most, and experts say that not less than three Bentleys are rolling in HCM City and one in Hanoi. They say that more and more luxurious models will come to Vietnam despite the poor infrastructure.