Automobile industry out of the woods

The domestic automobile market is showing signs of bouncing back with auto sales in July increasing slightly.

According to the Vietnam Association of Automobile Manufacturers (VAMA), vehicle sales in July, including domestically assembled and imported vehicles, reached 7,433, 15 percent higher than the previous month.

In the reviewed period, car sales rose by 21 percent to 2,729 units and truck sales increased by 10 percent to 4,704 units.

automobile industry out of the woods hinh 0

Twelve out of 18 car makers have demonstrated impressive sales growth. VMC’s auto sales increased 656 percent over June, followed by Vinasta with 172 percent, GM VN 80 percent, Visuko 61 percent, Honda 50 percent and Vinamotor 39 percent.

The six car manufacturers that saw a drop in sales volume during July were Hino, which fell by 33 percent, Samco by 52 percent, Vinacomin-Vinacoal by 71 percent, Vinaxuki by 3 percent, Veam by 29 percent, and Sanyang by 45 percent.

Truong Hai grew by six percent in July and currently holds the top spot in car sales with nearly 2,000 units sold in July and 13,152 units in the first seven months of 2012.

Toyota Vietnam ranks second with sales hitting 1,727 in July, up four percent over June, and totaling more than 12,000 in the first seven months of this year.

GM VN is third, selling 471 vehicles in July, 80 percent more than July 2011, and 3,200 in the past seven months.

Meanwhile, Ford’s car sales recorded satisfactory results with 2,000 units sold in the first seven months, thanks to major sales promotion campaigns.

Despite its second place ranking, Toyota Vietnam recently launched four of the five bestselling car models on the market, including Fortuner, which sold 456 units, Corolla Altis, selling 339 units, Innova 324 units, and Vios 315s. The GM VN Spark is the fifth bestselling car model with 200 units.

High hopes for change

Higher car sales in July indicate the auto industry is starting to gain ground after three consecutive months in sharp decline.

However, the seven-month sales of domestically assembled and imported cars reached only 50,361, down 39 percent over the same period last year.

To increase sales in the remaining months of this year, domestic car makers are continuing their stimulus programmes by lowering prices and introducing new models to spur market demand.

A Honda Vietnam representative says sales will still face difficulties from now until the end of this year. Therefore, it is essential for all car manufacturers to launch promotions or new models to stimulate purchases.

Honda Vietnam debuted the new, reasonably priced 2012 Civic with 1.8 and 2,0 litre engines, while Toyota Vietnam is preparing to launch the 2012 2.0R, 2.5G and 2.5Q Camrys and Ford Vietnam is planning to market a new version of the Focus.

Mercedes-Benz Vietnam has found another way to stimulate consumer demand by cooperating with Techcombank, which is offering customers loans with zero percent interest for the first six months to purchase a personal vehicle, excluding the M-class.

Car importers are also launching sales promotions. Renault in Vietnam has announced discounts of VND179-216 million on the two models, Koleos and Fluence. Another French car maker has also offered 20 percent discounts on post-sale service, 15 percent on spare parts and 10 percent on oil changes and vehicle check-ups.

With the slight recovery in the market and proactive stimulus programmes, VAMA Chairman Laurent Charpentier believes that the automobile sector will see improvements in the remaining months of this year, with total annual car sales expected to reach 93,000 units, 16 percent more than the volume predicted in June.