Under nine seat car imports rise 3.86 times in three quarters hinh anh 1Some cars of VinFast. (Photo: Vietnamplus)

Hanoi (VNA) - Competition in the automobile sector on the domestic market is fierce, not only in the production of domestic enterprises, but also the significant imports of cars in the first nine months of this year.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the imports of under nine seat completely built unit (CBU) cars in the past nine months increased by 3.86 times in volume and 3.5 times in value from the same period in 2018.

Statistics show that the number of imported cars in Vietnam reached 73,063 units, equivalent to the value of 1.39 billion USD.

According to the representative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, enterprises are focusing on production and imports to welcome year-end shopping, as well as serve the biggest exhibition of the year - Vietnam Motor Show - which will take place in next month.

Currently, the domestic automobile market continues witnessing numerous big discounts and sale programmes offered by businesses to draw more customers, increasing firms’ sales.

Besides, domestic automobile production increased rapidly when the VinFast Automobile Factory completed its investment process and started manufacturing its first products.

In addition, local car makers Thaco and Thanh Cong have increasingly strengthened their leading positions with a series of newly assembled products launched with a wide range of types of cars at competitive prices.

In the first nine months of this year, Vietnam imported 109,000 cars, a year-on-year increase of 167.8 percent, reported the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

The value increased by 157 percent during the reviewed period, reaching 2.4 billion USD.

In September alone, a total of 13,000 cars were imported with a total value of 260 million USD, up 38.1 percent in volume and 24.4 percent in value compared to the previous month, respectively.

According to the department, the imported cars mainly originated from Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, China and Germany, accounting for 97 percent of the total.

In August, sales of automobiles saw a month-on-month decline of 19 percent to about 21,480 vehicles, according to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturer Association (VAMA).

In the month, sales of all vehicle types dropped, with passenger cars down 21 percent, commercial ones 12 percent and special-use vehicles 37 percent.

The figures of both domestically-assembled and imported automobiles plummeted 18 percent and 22 percent against the previous month.

However, in the first eight months of 2019, automobile sales recorded a year-on-year surge of 20 percent. Sales of passenger cars leaped 31 percent in the reviewed period, while those of commercial and special-purpose vehicles dropped 1.6 percent and 28 percent, respectively.

Last year, the domestic automobile market saw impressive growth compared to the previous year with nearly 290,000 vehicles sold, an annual rise of 5.8 percent.

According to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, sales of passenger cars grew 27.7 percent, while those of commercial and special-use vehicles dropped 19.2 percent and 48.5 percent, respectively.

The association noted that in the last four months of 2018, automobile sales expanded strongly. More than 25,000 vehicles were sold in September, 29,040 in October and 30,902 in November and 34,234 in December, with the latter figure the highest level for a month in two years.

Imports were greatly impacted by a decree which tightened regulations on cars shipped to Vietnam, allowing domestically-produced and assembled automobiles to drive the market’s growth.

By the end of 2018, sales of domestically assembled vehicles rose 10.6 percent, while that of imported car fell 6.2 percent year on year.

The leading firms in the market were Thaco, Toyota Vietnam, Ford Vietnam and Honda Vietnam. Thaco led in sales with 96,127 vehicles, up 7 percent over the previous year and 34.7 percent of the market share./.