The total import turnover of Completely Built-Up (CBU) automobiles in Vietnam this year reached 1.446 billion USD, which nearly matched the record level of 1.5 billion USD.

Further, the General Department of Customs revealed that the country imported 66,025 vehicles, as of December 15.

The General Statistics Office estimated last month that the total import turnover of automobiles in the first 11 months of the year would be 1.292 billion USD with 60,000 units. However, the latest figure disclosed by the General Department of Customs reflected different data from estimates. The most recent figures showed that the country reached 61,595 units, with a turnover value of 1.345 billion USD.

Moreover, the amount attained this year would reach a record level of imported automobiles, as estimated figures were double those of last year, in terms of both quantity and value.

In addition, imported automobile prices nearly reached 40,000 USD per unit. This amount followed those in Russia and the United States.

Further, the latest numbers announced by the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association revealed that the assembled and CUB imported units into Vietnam in the first seven months of the year rose by 24 percent and 62 percent, respectively, compared with the same period last year.

Central Institute for Economic Management Deputy Director Vo Tri Thanh added that the local automobile sector has not chosen a suitable development strategy.

The sector's strategy should be based on two basic factors — economic scale and association.

Thanh noted that the local sector had been disorganised in its manufacturing processes, opening markets and trade liberalisation.

Truong Dinh Tuyen, former Minister of Industry and Trade, said that Vietnam's automobile industry has not created competitiveness, though automobiles brought high profits and diversified market demands.

Tuyen said that tax protection should not be the sole tool offered to the enterprises, if the country wants to develop the sector.

However, Vietnam should maximise automobile production costs to develop the industry, he added.-VNA